Internal Medicine Residency Program
Dialogue with the Residents
E-mail a question to the Internal Medicine Residency
and one of our residents will get right back to you.
Elizabeth Brezinski, MD, Preliminary R1
University of California, Davis
After my interview day, I knew that CPMC was the perfect place for my preliminary medicine year training. The supportive community and camaraderie among the residents, faculty, and administrative staff was clear and I was excited to be a part of this culture. I was impressed by the complex patient case presentations at morning report and the collaborative teaching that followed led by the chiefs and residents with really helpful clinical pearls thrown in by the faculty in attendance. The glowing reviews of the program by residents at lunch couldn't have been more true now that I am a few months into internship. Residents are quick to help each other out; they are outgoing, funny, and incredibly smart. The teaching is also high caliber. I value the emphasis on academic training in a community setting where there is an opportunity to treat a diverse group of patients with a wide range of both common and rare medical conditions. In addition, the flexibility to incorporate elective rotations that include subspecialty experiences as well as research was an important attribute that I found at CPMC. Finally, the hospital's location in San Francisco is hard to beat and I have especially enjoyed exploring all of the city's fabulous restaurants and museums in my free time.
Sarah Haserodt, MD, Categorical R1
Ohio State University
For me, CPMC stood out among other residency programs I was considering because of the "communiversity" feel. One of my favorite rotations in medical school was at a community hospital because the atmosphere was so warm and nurturing that it was easy for me to grow as a medical student. I knew that during the stressful years of residency, I would thrive the most in a place that was supportive and friendly. When I interviewed at CPMC, I experienced this kind of environment. It was also very important to me that I have excellent teachers. During my interview day, I was amazed at the quality of the teaching during morning report (where interesting cases are discussed) and noon conference (the more traditional lecture style). The day I interviewed, the presentation was on how to become a more effective teacher. This really resonated with me because I both wanted to grow as a teacher and be surrounded by people who were good teachers. One of my concerns about a community program was that I would not get as much patient diversity as a big academic medical center. CPMC is unique because it is the referral hospital for many surrounding Sutter hospitals, which means that some extremely fascinating cases get referred to CPMC. I am so glad that I ranked CPMC as number one. For me, it has the perfect combination of a warm, supportive environment as well as the high quality education and variety in the patient population that is seen at some of the larger academic medical centers.
Andrew Lee, MD, Preliminary R1
University of California, San Francisco
I first heard about CPMC as a medical student when a number of my upperclassmen friends chose CPMC for residency. Needless to say, I was intrigued. When I finally had the opportunity to interview here, I think the one thing that stuck with me about the program was how warm and friendly all the residents and faculty were. Something about the atmosphere here is just different, and ultimately why CPMC was at the top of my list. It has this special mixture of where there is just the right amount of everything for everyone to be happy and satisfied. I think a combination of great support for the residents, a strong sense of community, a friendly culture, a great city, very approachable faculty mentors, a nice balance of a class size that's neither too small nor too big, are just some of those ingredients. The people here work hard, play hard, and most of all, are some of the happiest residents I've ever met. If you're looking for great teaching and cases, CPMC has that too. The patient population here is diverse, and as a referral center, we see a volume of complex cases that could be compared to any large academic program. Also, after living in San Francisco for the last 8 years, I 've also developed something of an affectionate relationship with the city. Where else could you leave work and have pretty much whatever you wanted in terms of food/drink/social/outdoors/music/sports/other things I've probably forgotten all easily within reach? This resident has no regrets.
Melanie Manaku, MD, Categorical R1
Weill Cornell Medical College
From the very start of my interview day, I had the feeling that CPMC was the place for me. I was immediately impressed by the quality of morning report. I’d already been to several interviews, and unlike other programs I’d visited, the morning report at CPMC was concise, relevant, and engaging. Throughout my interview day at CPMC I was encouraged by how strongly the program emphasizes teaching (the attendings and senior residents make it a point to teach something every day). But the thing that clinched my decision to choose CPMC was the supportive and collegial atmosphere. CPMC treats its residents like family. You will work hard, but you always know that that the program staff is concerned for your welfare, and a door is always open if you have something to discuss. There is also the fact that San Francisco is a wonderfully diverse city and you see a wide range of pathology here. And although intern year is tough, it helps that there is a genuine camaraderie among the residents (and catered lunches)! I couldn’t be happier that I matched to CPMC.
Stacie Nishimoto, MD, Categorical R1
University of California, Los Angeles
CPMC was my clear choice. As an applicant, I was looking for a mid-size community-focused program with a diverse patient population, happy residents, resources to explore a variety of specialties, and a supportive environment. On my interview day, I was impressed by the warmth and openness of residents and attendings during rounds and the praise from visiting medical students regarding the quality of and emphasis on teaching. CPMC has met and exceeded my expectations as an intern. The cases presented at morning report are not only interesting but are supported by clinically focused evidence-based medicine. The variety of cases I have encountered in the first few months has been incredible. Due in part to SF's diverse patient pool, I've managed cases involving exotic parasites and rare tumors that I'd only read about as a medical student. Residents and staff are part of a tight-knit community and I know that I can always go to them for support or help with logistical issues that allow me to focus my energy on doctoring and learning.
Ultimately, after discussing match options at length with mentors, family and friends, my decision came down to gut feeling. In what kind of environment would I want to grow as a person and physician?
I remember passing the large glass windows on the fifth floor, taking in the gorgeous view of golden gate bridge and knowing that CPMC was it. I'm grateful to be working with an amazing group of residents in a program that truly feels like home.
Matthew Yee, MD, Categorical R1
University of Toledo, Ohio
I chose to do my residency at CPMC after rotating here during my fourth year of medical school. I am originally from San Francisco and knew I wanted to come home for residency and start my medical career in the Bay Area. I quickly learned that CPMC is a place where the faculty are welcoming and approachable, where I was never interrupted or rushed during case presentations and patient care discussions, and where you are encouraged to take ”ownership” of your patients. I was always asked, “How do you want to care for your patient today?” When I was unsure about the management of a particular patient I was always referred to the medical literature with a heavy emphasis on evidence-based medicine. CPMC also has a great house staff, administrators and faculty who work hard, care for each other’s well-being and know how to have fun. Residents constantly check in with their teams throughout the day to see if any help is needed or to teach on a particular topic. The GME faculty consistently makes the effort to ask how you are doing and team lunches around the neighborhood provide a time to relax and get to know your colleagues outside of medicine. My experience at CPMC easily made the program my top choice for residency because it encompasses all the aspects I looked for in my ideal residency program: approachable and caring teachers that make education the top priority, a warm and friendly house staff that works together well and supports each other, and an emphasis on practicing evidence-based medicine to nurture the best physicians for our patients.
Jane Park, MD, R2
Dartmouth Medical School
I'm one of many Dartmouth Medical School grads who came to CPMC during my third and fourth year clerkships. I loved every minute I got to experience a gorgeous, vibrant city like SF -- bonfires on Ocean Beach, sailing on the Bay, hikes in the Marin Headlands, oyster shucking in Tomales Bay. I clearly fell in love with SF, but the other reason I kept returning was CPMC itself. It's a popular clerkship site for Dartmouth students for good reason. As a medical student and now as an intern, there continues to be a genuine regard for your well-being amidst trying to sharpen your skills and broaden your knowledge base as a developing physician. There's no doubt that the hours can be long, but at the end of the day, I'm lucky to work with people who are whip-smart, funny, engaging, and dedicated to patient care.
Jonathan Wong, MD, R2
University of California, Irvine
There were many factors I considered before ranking CPMC as my first choice. When it came to it though, the decision really boiled down to which program would best prepare me for a career within internal medicine. For me, this meant high quality educational sessions, faculty who are passionate about teaching, a culture that is genuinely supportive of its residents and their well-being, diverse patient pathology, and a location that my wife (who I couples matched with) and I could enjoy to decompress from the intensity of residency. Though it can be difficult to get the full scope of a program from one interview, CPMC has certainly managed to exceeded my expectations.
The morning reports organized by the Chief Residents are probably the best run sessions I experienced on the interview trail. They put tremendous thought into asking the most important questions that pertain to each case. The program directors, hospitalists, and sub-specialists are truly exceptional physicians, approachable, and passionate about teaching residents. The culture here is uniquely special and I know of many former categorical and prelim residents who have come back to CPMC for jobs in part for this very reason. From the moment I started, I felt part of a tight knit community made up of my co-residents, GME staff, program directors, and hospital staff and faculty. Of course, San Francisco itself is an incredible city with an endless number of activities and restaurants to enjoy. CPMC is really an exceptional place to train and I feel lucky to have matched here each day I show up for work.
Daniel Ames, R3
University of Washington
My choice of CPMC as my residency can be summarized in a simple anecdote. On the day of my interview, the program director gave a welcome to the applicants during morning report and as we were filing out for our tours, he said "I hope you all learn something new today". In all my interviews (and I went on 20 of them, couples matching is no joke), no program, academic or community, had imparted such a simple, refreshing message. CPMC is a tight knit program where you are part of a family, and part of a community dedicated to the education of its training physicians. I am continually impressed and inspired by my fantastic attending physicians and co-residents, all of whom are committed to teaching each other something new everyday. Here at CPMC you will find a unique combination of autonomy with your hands-on management of patients, supportive community, and devotion to learning that is hard to match
Felix Lui, MD, R3
University of Hawaii
A program that “just gets it”. At CPMC, there is an understanding that residency is not about learning by intimidation, but an open culture of collaborative learning, where you are given all the autonomy you want but are never alone in your decisions. On interview day and during the first month of intern year, I realized that the “culture” here is one of collegiality, respect, and teamwork, and you can see this perpetuated at every level from the amazing team of attendings, residents, nursing staff, and GME. Admittedly, you will be challenged in every way imaginable, and if nothing else, by the complexity and diversity of patients and cases (My first patient was suspected of having hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; what is that?). But, it is all interesting and fun when you have smart, genuinely happy co-residents at your side supporting you and teaching you something every day. You will also develop your own teaching style as you work with talented medical students from Dartmouth, UCSF, and UC Davis. Since it is such a tight knit community, you are not just another resident passing through for the next three years; here you are a member of the CPMC family from day one. The medical staff makes a genuine effort to mentor and know you on a professional and personal basis (first name basis). Lastly, there is a strong commitment and dedication by the program to do everything in its power to advocate for you, to protect you, and to make this professional journey an amazing one. From catered meals, opportunities for research and mentorship, the many teaching conferences, they work very hard to take care of you. And if you enjoy amazing food, diversity, and endless things to do, SF is not a bad place to be. The trajectory of this premiere academic program has been rising every year, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this great CPMC family!
Sean Iwamoto, MD, Chief Medicine Resident
University of Rochester
Originally from the West Coast, I had it in my heart to return for residency. CPMC is more than a name--it feels like home! I ranked CPMC #1 for many reasons. At my interview day, everyone I met--residents, attendings, staff, nurses, and medical students--appeared very happy to be here. There are even framed photos lining the hallway to the GME office with the famous "Jumping Interns" photos. Now that I am here for residency, I am thankful everyday to be at CPMC, to be part of a stimulating community that intellectually challenges and emotionally supports every person within it. Outstanding residents and patient attendings teach each other everyday. As interns, we are given a great deal of autonomy in managing our patients. Morning reports and noon conferences are full of active learning and teaching pearls. We have the awesome opportunity to teach medical students visiting from Dartmouth, UCSF, and other schools. With diverse patient populations and disease presentations at CPMC, we see as much variety as you would at large university programs. But we take pride in also having a smaller community-based learning environment. As such, CPMC thrives as a “communiversity!" For other foodies out there, San Francisco is home to world-class fine dining, unexpectedly delicious dives, and an ever-growing food truck culture. You will not go hungry, even on a resident's salary! Good luck with the match!