The UCLA Primary Care Program takes tremendous pride in an innovative and dynamic curriculum designed to develop high-quality general internists who can adapt to the evolving role of the primary care physician. We subscribe to the “clinic-first” model, believing that caring for patients in clinic is the most important and relevant curriculum to develop excellent primary care physicians. We provide our trainees with the broad clinical exposure to health systems and diverse patient populations required to excel in managing the myriad of conditions seen in practice. Our graduates are not only trained to provide excellent clinical care, but are also poised to become leaders and advocates in their organizations and communities. Key features of our training program include:
In our 4+2 schedule, residents participate in a recurring 2-week ambulatory block rotation containing continuity and subspecialty clinics at their two sites. These 2-week ambulatory rotation blocks are separated by 4 weeks of other required or elective rotations. This 4+2 schedule has allowed Primary Care residents to have significantly more continuity clinic exposure, up to double the number of continuity clinics compared with their typical categorical resident colleagues. The +2 weeks also provide time to incorporate relevant subspecialty clinics, additional creative curricular teaching/experiences, and dedicated time for wellness and panel management. There are also clinic-specific educational offerings, including noon conferences, which offer additional opportunities to deepen knowledge and skill in various subspecialty areas and behavioral health. The +2 weeks also provide dedicated time to work closely with faculty on professional development and well-being through clinic-based programs and initiatives.
We provide a strong foundation in clinical knowledge and skills for the primary care physician. All residents receive ample exposure to the internal medicine specialties, such as cardiology, endocrinology, etc. All residents also have structured experiences in fields crucial to outpatient medicine, such as women’s health, urgent care, dermatology, and musculoskeletal training. There are two half-day didactic sessions every +2 block, and each clinic offers learning experiences based on its rich patient population.
We have carefully devised and fleshed out educational themes that extend beyond “classic” clinical medicine, which inform the broad, systems-based perspective that we believe all primary care doctors should possess. These themes build on each other and broaden throughout residency as trainees develop as practitioners. For example, PGY-1 residents learn about clinic structures and quality improvement, PGY-2 residents discuss panel and practice management and community asset mapping, and PGY-3 residents delve into the broader topic of health systems and advocacy.
Primary Care Medicine
Each Primary Care resident class participates together in two 2-week Primary Care Medicine (PCM) block rotations each year. These rotations are protected time for in-depth learning in primary care. They incorporate clinic, didactics, site visits, and group projects. Since the entire class joins together for PCM blocks, this creates an even greater sense of community within our program.
Community Medicine and Focus Sessions
During each +2-ambulatory block, interns and junior residents have a scheduled Community Medicine session, where they experience first-hand, clinic and community resources, street outreach and home visits. As senior residents, this protected ‘Focus session’ time may be used to explore a resident’s own unique clinical interests.
Additional training opportunities have included: medical forensic evaluations for persons seeking asylum; Buprenorphine and additional addiction medicine training, to allow for medication-assisted treatment for patients with substance use disorders; Race and Diversity training to help residents better understand and analyze systemic racism; integrative medicine principles and selected acupuncture techniques; bedside ultrasound techniques; contraceptive methods; and mental and behavioral health curricula and workshops.
Areas of Expertise
Through unique clinical experiences, mentoring, and projects, we encourage our residents to develop areas of primary care expertise. Examples of previous resident areas of interest include Women’s Health, HIV Primary Care, East-West medicine, Quality Improvement, and Medical Education. In addition to +2 weeks, our trainees have time to explore clinical interests in the form of Selectives. These Selectives can take the form of the “Unique Rotations” described on the “Additional Opportunities” tab, or they can take other forms based on learners’ needs and interests.
Primary Care and Health Service Research faculty and PC residents join together in faculty members’ homes for our Primary Care Journal Club. Faculty provide a brief didactic focused on critical review of literature and evidence based medicine. Residents present and discuss relevant research articles, in a relaxed environment. Guests often include authors of the articles presented.
UCLA is home to one of the nation’s strongest divisions of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research, and our residents regularly collaborate with HSR faculty on research projects. All PGY-1 residents are matched with HSR and clinical mentors to help develop career goals and navigate residency training. Our clinical faculty love working with our housestaff and are always available to provide formal and informal mentoring throughout residency and beyond.
While we provide significant outpatient training for our residents, we maintain a careful balance between inpatient and ambulatory experiences to ensure a well-rounded clinical experience. PGY-1 residents spend approximately 6-7 months on inpatient services (general medicine wards or critical care). Thereafter, residents spend 4-5 months per year on inpatient rotations to further develop and maintain these skills. We opt for inpatient rotations that best fit our goals of developing high-quality general internists. Of note, residents in both tracks have inpatient rotations at all our affiliated teaching hospitals to fully experience these diverse health systems and patient populations.
Inpatient Training Sites: