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Primary Care Program
Thank you for your interest in the Jefferson Primary Care program within the Internal Medicine Residency. The track was established in 2014 and was designed to help those with an interest in general internal medicine become better prepared and inspired to pursue primary care careers after residency. The Primary Care program is fully integrated within the larger residency program and residents in the program benefit from the same outstanding inpatient training as their categorical counterparts. The mission of the program is to train superb clinicians who are dedicated to advancing the field of general internal medicine through patient care, education, advocacy, and research. The Primary Care program is predicated on the principles of community, mentorship, and curricular innovation.
In order for residents to feel comfortable managing outpatients, the Primary Care program provides early and more frequent ambulatory experiences. The primary care residents remain on a block schedule but it is modified from the categorical 4+2 system to be a mostly 4+4 schedule. This allows for month-long blocks in the ambulatory setting to improve comfort and efficiency in the office. As a result of these month-long blocks, residents in the primary care program spend nearly half of the time in the outpatient setting.
We believe that strong mentorship is vital to keeping residents interested in primary care. As a result, residents in the Primary Care program have early and more frequent ambulatory exposure to help develop these generalist mentors. Primary Care residents are assigned the program director as the faculty advisor who oversees their development and guides them toward opportunities to make them more marketable and better prepared to practice upon graduation. Additionally, each resident has a primary preceptor that will ensure longitudinal development of clinical skills.
Increased Ambulatory Time
In order for residents to feel comfortable managing outpatients, the Primary Care program provides early and more frequent ambulatory experiences. The primary care residents remain on a block schedule but it is modified from the categorical 4+2 system to be a mostly 4+4 schedule. This allows for month long blocks in the ambulatory setting to improve comfort and efficiency in the office. As a result of these month long blocks, residents in the primary care program spend nearly half of the time in the outpatient settting.
Elective & Longitudinal Project Time
Although it may appear that residents in the Primary Care program don’t have very much elective time, this couldn’t be further from the truth. By redistributing the elective time and incorporating it within the ambulatory blocks, residents are able to arrange more meaningful experiences and work on projects longitudinally. During ambulatory blocks residents have the opportunity to explore other specialties and IM subspecialties by working in various clinics on a recurring basis. For example, a resident may work with a particular dermatologist several times over one block and return on subsequent blocks, thereby obtaining the dermatologic skills needed by an internist. Residents also have the ability to pursue research, educational projects, advocacy work, and/or other nonclinical electives through at least one protected session a week while on ambulatory. Residents are expected to develop a project to carry through their residency experience. In addition to the clinical and non-clinical elective time, residents also have protected time to follow up on patients and actively manage their panels.
Primary Care residents attend two half-day sessions of didactics each week while on ambulatory blocks. These sessions are a combination of lectures given by internists and subspecialists, case discussions, special workshops and training sessions (ambulatory procedures, special population training, health systems, and quality improvement in primary care), and peer-to-peer teaching sessions. Senior residents in the program play an active role in tailoring the curriculum to the needs of the group and develop their teaching skills through peer-led teaching sessions, which are observed by faculty. There are also case-based discussions with faculty members on challenging primary care topics.
All residents within in the Primary Care program have their continuity clinics within JIMA, a Level 3 patient-centered medical home with a diverse patient population. In this clinic, emphasis is placed on residents’ “ownership” of their patients, and residents have 24/7 access to their preceptor so that they never feel unsupported. In addition to this traditional continuity clinic that occurs three times weekly while on ambulatory and weekly while on most ward rotations, residents select a second site “longitudinal clinic” tailored to their interests to diversify their exposure to various primary care settings.
Applying to the Program
The Primary Care program is integrated within the Jefferson Internal Medicine categorical residency, but is a separate program with a separate match number. Applicants invited to interview for the categorical program who have also applied to the Primary Care program will be able to interview for both programs on the same day. While applicants to the program should have an interest in pursuing careers in outpatient general internal medicine after residency, we do recognize that career choices may change during residency and residents in the program can expect to be fully supported no matter what their ultimate career choice. Please feel free to email Medicine.Residency@jefferson.edu with any questions regarding the Primary Care program.