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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: Our Program

    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.

    Where do hospital patients come from?

    California Pacific's core mission is to serve the local community. San Francisco has an exceptionally diverse population and, as a result, we have a broad range of patients covering the entire spectrum of disease and socioeconomic status.

    Approximately 30% of patients come from outside San Francisco. These include travelers and referral patients for programs in Transplantation, Infectious Diseases, Strokes, Complex Neurosurgery, GI Dysmotility, complex GI Diseases, Cardiology, Hematology/Oncology, Neuromuscular Diseases and complex immunologic disease.
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    Will I have adequate responsibility for the care of my patients?

    Yes. California Pacific is not your stereotypical private hospital. Most faculty choose to admit to California Pacific over other hospitals because of the excellence of our house staff. Program leadership and faculty are strongly committed to the concept that house staff learn best by "doing". House staff feel responsible for patient care because they are responsible for patient care. Attending physicians work closely with the house staff to supervise and teach.

    The house staff are expected to handle the day-to-day management and are expected to write all orders. Our house staff have the same degree of responsibility as in university hospitals and a much greater degree of responsibility than in the majority of private hospitals.


    Sara Swenson, MD (Associate Director, Family Health Clinic)
    and Priscilla Yee, MD (Hospitalist)

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    How much ICU experience does the program offer?

    Over the three years of training, residents will get 5-6 months of ICU and CCU experience.Our faculty and residents believe that a well-trained internist should have sufficient experience with “sick” patients to allow them to ultimately practice inpatient and/or outpatient medicine. In addition, CPMC has excellent teachers and a broad patient base in Critical Care Medicine. The residents are exposed to critically ill patients with “routine” disease as well as to “referral” patients who are hospitalized with complicated multi-system disease. The MICU is consistently ranked as one of the top most valuable educational experiences on the annual house staff survey.


    ICU Rounds

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    Who will be teaching me?

    CPMC residents admit patients with and interact daily with a diverse group of medical attending physicians, all of whom are dedicated to the clinical practice of medicine. These clinicians serve both as teachers and role models to the residents. Selected attendings chosen for their excellence as teachers and clinicians serve as teaching physicians and round in small groups with general medicine and specialty teams three or four times each week. The focus of attending rounds is solely on teaching. Furthermore, besides teaching of procedures by residents, fellows or attendings is an important aspect of training at California Pacific. Our superb hospitalist group, the majority of whom are former California Pacific or UCSF Residents, are key members of the teaching team.


    Ru-Huey Yen, MD, Dov Shalman, MD and Tim Chen, MD.

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    Are Hospitalists used at California Pacific Medical Center?

    Yes. CPMC was one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to employ full-time hospital-based physicians. There are currently 48 inpatient "specialists" on the acute wards and in the Skilled Nursing Facility. These "hospitalists" have special expertise in inpatient management. They are important members of the teaching program, and are in the hospital 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. Surveys of residents and interns have consistently shown that they are among the most visible, valued and committed teachers at CPMC.


    Chief Residents: Chief Residents: Duc-Uy Quang-Dang, MD,
    Yfa Sparks, MD and Sean Iwamoto, MD

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    How will my education be affected by managed care?

    Managed care organizations provide payment for approximately 30% of inpatients at California Pacific. One of the features of our training program is the ability to learn medicine in a managed care environment, which stresses evidence-based medicine(EBM), disease prevention, and outcome analysis. Residents will learn about appropriate utilization of resources, clinical pathways, and other aspects of cost efficient medical care. Residents work closely both with attending physician hospitalists practicing in managed care model and with attendings practicing in either managed care or traditional models.
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    Is there much scut work?

    There is remarkably little scut work. Residents and interns consistently comment on how a lack of scut work frees them up to think about and take care of their patients.
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    What ancillary services are available to the house staff?

    All routine lab tests as well as special multiple timed lab draws are drawn by phlebotomy personnel 24 hours a day. Similarly, the nursing staff will place nasogastric tubes, foley catheters and IV's, including PICC lines. Respiratory therapy is available 24 hours a day. EKG technicians or nurses perform EKGs. There is very little if "scut work" done by our house staff.
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    How extensively are computers used at CPMC?

    CPMC uses computers extensively throughout the hospital and clinic . Both the inpatient side and the outpatient clinic use EPIC (EMR). All orders are entered by house staff via computer terminals located at all nursing stations, in the physicians' lounge and call rooms. The house staff also have a handful of tablet computers to use on rounds and while admitting patients.

    Computerized literature searches are accessed via Ovid, PubMed, MDConsult and Up-To-Date. There are over one hundred and fifty medical textbooks available through our intranet library website. House staff have ready access to the full range of library services, including all major journals and copying services. We also have access to the UCSF library and all of their resources. We can access this remotely while at home. Please see Unique Aspects of Our Curriculum and Work Environment for information about our residency Shared Drive and Core Articles Curriculum.


    Residents in the Doctors' Lounge

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    Is there an opportunity to do research during the residency?

    Yes. We encourage house staff to participate in research and other scholarly projectswhich may be done during elective rotations (up to 1 per year) or as an ongoing project during the course of training. There is funding available for worthy projects, including costs of travel and lodging at national meetings. Our interns and residents have had abstracts accepted for presentation at both regional and national meetings. Numerous resident-authored articles and letters have been accepted by peer-reviewed journals. Please see our listing of recent "Scholarly Activity" to get a feel for some of our house staff abstracts, recent research projects and publications.


    ACP 2012 Meeting Winner: Felix Lui, MD

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    How are residents evaluated?

    CPMC's program is "feedback intensive." Residents are expected to review curriculum materials and to clarify their expectations at the onset of each rotation. Real time verbal feedback is encouraged as residents and faculty members work together on the wards or in the clinics.

    Web-based evaluation forms are completed by both residents and faculty at the end of each rotation and are reviewed with the residents by one of the program directors at least twice yearly. Residents may, and often do, request more frequent evaluation and feedback sessions with the program directors. There are also "360 degree" evaluations completed by patients and nurses in the outpatient setting and all continuing residents are observed by a faculty member during one or more patient examinations in the outpatient center and immediate feedback is provided to the residents.

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    Do residents have a say in how the program runs?

    Absolutely! Residents are members of key committees such as: the Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Medical Education Committee. Off site retreats are held annually for each resident class and program review is a regular agenda item at the retreats.

    The Program Directors consider the residents to be colleagues with invaluable ideas arising from their experiences in the "trenches" of patient care. Residents and interns also complete anonymous, annual surveys to evaluate program innovations, curriculum and Program Director and Chief Resident performance. The Program Director may review some of the key results with you during the afternoon "wrap up" session at the time of your visit to CPMC. Don't hesitate to ask the Program Director about program feedback when you visit.

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    What is the work environment like?

    Residents say the environment at CPMC is professional, yet relaxed and friendly. Attending Physicians are approachable and down-to-earth and there is a positive and dynamic interaction between residents. The number one thing that residents say they like most about the program (consistently noted on the annual house staff survey) is the friendly, supportive work environment provided by administrators, co-residents and interns, nurses, ancillary support and custodians. They also feel that their concerns and suggestions are taken very seriously by the Program Directors and members of the hospital leadership.


    Visiting the M&M machines in the Department of Medicine

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