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    Internal Medicine Residency Program

    Frequently Asked Questions on:
    General Information | For Categorical Applicants | For Preliminary Applicants | Our Program | Your Schedules | Other Important Details

    Frequently Asked Questions: General Information

    For your convenience, we have prepared the following questions and answers frequently raised by applicants. Please click on a question to be presented with the answer.

    Maya Vella, MD (2015-2016 Preliminary Intern), Russell Reeves (Dartmouth Medical Student), and Jon Wong, MD (Cardiology Fellow)

    Are your house staff happy?

    Despite the fact that our house staff work hard, and that residency is usually not considered "the happiest time" of one’s life, our residents are a very happy bunch. Reasons cited by residents (in both formal and informal surveys) include working in a supportive environment, quality of relationships with peers, teachers and nurses, living in the San Francisco Bay Area and the strong emphasis on teaching and learning from a diverse patient population. Feel free to ask them this question directly if you come for an interview-it's a good question to ask on all of your interview days, no matter where you are. If you're going to work hard in residency, we believe you'll learn more and have a better experience if you are part of a supportive community where you feel good about what you are doing. The medical literature also supports the fact that patients tend to be most satisfied with physicians who are satisfied with the work they are doing.

    Chuong Tran, MD (Chief Resident 2016-2017), Rena Zuo, MD (2015-2016 Preliminary Intern), Gavin Park, MD (Chief Resident 2016-2017), and Sweta Bodepudi, MD (current R3)

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    Does California Pacific Medical Center's Internal Medicine Program have a University affiliation?

    In 2008 CPMC formed high level affiliation with Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College (please see below). In 1996, the Internal Medicine Program at California Pacific also became an affiliate of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). Residents who match at CPMC do the vast majority of their inpatient and outpatient training at California Pacific and its outpatient facility. California Pacific residents can choose a number of electives at UCSF and its affiliated hospitals and clinics. CPMC residents also have full VPN access to the UCSF Library and all of its resources.

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    How is CPMC affiliated with Dartmouth-Geisel School of Medicine?

    CPMC formed an affiliation in January 2008 with Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Dartmouth Deans were looking for a great clinical setting with excellent residents, fellows, and faculty, vibrant conferences, a busy, efficient hospital, and extensive patient and case diversity. After a national search and several site visits to CPMC, they were convinced that they had found the right place for their students. Dartmouth flies students to San Francisco for 3rd and 4th year rotations where they are housed by Dartmouth in conjunction with CPMC.

    CPMC benefits from this affiliation by having more student learners in its supportive environment. Working with Dartmouth students affords medicine residents and faculty additional opportunities to teach, collaborate on scholarly activities, and hone their team leadership and mentoring skills. To quote many of the residents and interns, “you never truly appreciate what you don’t know until a student asks you a question.”

    These students come to CPMC from an excellent medical school, extremely well educated and well prepared for their clinical duties. All CPMC faculty and residents have been impressed with their clinical performance to date.

    Dartmouth students seem to feel the same about us as our evaluation scores and comments from them meet and sometimes exceed their peer evaluations of Dartmouth's local medicine rotations at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and the excellent White River Junction VA Hospital.

    Watch the Dartmouth videos:
    “CPMC - New Experience in Healthcare” Opens new window where third-year Geisel student Jeanie Ringelberg describes CPMC as a "great place and supportive environment for learning."

    “CPMC – Intern Year in San Francisco” Opens new window in which Dana Lin, MD, graduate of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, shares her experience as an intern at California Pacific Medical Center, and the benefits of working in a diverse, urban medicine setting.

    Medical students taking a lunch break

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    Are there other student clerkships at CPMC?

    Yes. We offer a multitude of sub-internships to fourth year medical students. Students come from many U.S. medical schools. In addition, we offer core clerkships to third year Dartmouth students in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn and Family Medicine in addition to a fourth year Neurology core clerkship. For UCSF medical students we offer core clerkships in Surgery, Psychiatry, Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics.

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    How does the first year Categorical Medicine program differ from the first year Preliminary Medicine program?

    Both programs include Internal Medicine experience sufficient to qualify as a first year for Board Certification in Internal Medicine. The categorical medicine curriculum incorporates outpatient as well as inpatient Internal Medicine rotations while the preliminary medicine curriculum has less experience in ambulatory care.

    For example, the Categorical curriculum includes scheduled emergency room and medical clinic assignments. The Preliminary (1-year) residents may do an ER rotation as an elective. "Prelim" interns do more months (2-3) of MICU, while "Cat" interns are only allowed to have one. The MICU is one of the most popular rotations in the program.

    Both curricula include inpatient general medicine, cardiology and critical care units.

    Average Categorical and Preliminary interns have almost identical numbers of call nights, night float and work load. The biggest difference between the two programs is that Preliminary interns do 2-3 months of MICU while Categorical interns are only required to do 1 month of MICU due to RRC limitation guidelines. Categorical interns do 1 required month of San Francisco General Hospital Emergency Room, an excellent but rigorous learning experience. Preliminary interns are not required but may elect to do ER if they desire or if they need to fulfill this requirement for Anesthesia training.

    It is worth emphasizing again that there is little difference between treatment of "Prelims" and "Cats", to the point where most of the attending physicians in the hospital don’t even know who is Preliminary and who is Categorical at the end of the academic year. While some training programs use their Preliminary interns as "grist for the mill" of clinical work while sparing their Categorical interns, we do not. We are very proud of the training we provide our Preliminary interns and the excellent preparation it provides them for their future careers. Many years after our preliminary interns have graduated and moved on we continue to hear from them about how well prepared they were for their specialty training – whether Dermatology, PM&R, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Anesthesiology or Neurology. A significant number have even "come home" to CPMC after their advanced training as neurologists, radiologists and anesthesiologists. We love to see them back here again!

    Chief Residents 2016-2017

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