Internal Medicine Residency
Common Myths About California Pacific Medical Center
Below is a list of myths about a non-University hospital like CPMC to better educate you about the colorful and rewarding training our residents receive:
CPMC is a "Community Hospital"
We are and we aren’t. CPMC doesn’t really fall into any standard descriptor as a training location. While it is not a "University Hospital," it is also not a typical "Community Hospital." CPMC has affiliations with 2 major University medical schools (Dartmouth and UCSF) and a very busy Research Institute that has numerous NIH grants. Moreover, the size of its patient referral base surpasses that of many University Hospitals. Over one-third of CPMC’s patients come from outside San Francisco County, some from as far away as Nevada and Oregon. The patients referred to CPMC are some of the most diagnostically and therapeutically challenging cases seen by residents. At the same time, CPMC cares for a large portion of San Francisco’s socioeconomically and ethnically diverse community which means that residents receive a solid foundation in “bread and butter” medicine.
CPMC has been described as a "Communiversity Hospital"—a hybrid of the best of both worlds. We place a premium on academic learning and emphasize and nurture teaching and scholarly activity in a warm, friendly and supportive work environment where everyone gets to know each other. Our training program resembles that of a small, liberal arts college, where residents can get more individualized attention from faculty and program directors but can pursue almost all the career pathways that they could at any large University program.
CPMC is in beautiful Pacific Heights in San Francisco so your residents must only see wealthy patients with mundane medical problems:
Not true. While it is great working in a neighborhood with beautiful views and lots to do within a 5 block radius, our patients are tremendously diverse and come from every economic and social strata. They come from all neighborhoods of San Francisco and because San Francisco is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, this means that you see and meet almost every kind of person. Additionally, since CPMC has 4 campuses which are situated in Pacific Heights, the Richmond District, the Castro District and South of Market area, our hospital’s referral base is tremendous. Our advanced tertiary and quaternary services (e.g., Liver and Renal transplantation, advanced digestive diseases) draw patient referrals from all over Northern California, Nevada and even Oregon. We are the “flagship hospital” of Sutter Health’s 30 hospital consortium and care for many of the consortium’s most challenging cases.
Since your program is not a University Program your residents can’t get fellowships:
Not true. Please see our list of fellowship matches for the last several years; our residents have done remarkably well with fellowship placement. The reasons for this success are complex, but suffice to say that we work hard to prepare our residents to be competitive applicants and CPMC has an excellent reputation for the quality of its clinical training with many fellowship programs directors.
Since you are not a University Program, the teaching must not be as good:
Not true. Our clinicians are just that—clinicians—who teach because they love to teach and interact with students and residents. Our institution’s support of teaching and the residency program enables it to attract excellent subspecialty, hospitalist, and outpatient faculty from both private practice and University settings. The quality of teaching at CPMC is one of the most frequently cited strengths of the program based upon our annual residency survey. Suffice to say, Dartmouth Medical School would not be flying its students almost 3,000 miles if they didn’t believe the teaching at CPMC was stellar!!
It must be hard to pursue scholarly activity:
Not true. As at any program, our residents need to be proactive about pursuing their interests, but there is plenty of opportunity to do research, write abstracts, present posters at regional and national meetings and publish. Please see our Scholarly Activities at CPMC. This is one of the many things that help our residents match to competitive fellowship programs. Because of our program’s emphasis on teaching, faculty are dedicated to mentoring residents and providing individualized attention and guidance. Our affiliation with UCSF also enables motivated residents to work with researchers at any of the 4 UCSF campuses in San Francisco.