Primary Care Program
Thank you for your interest in the Jefferson Primary Care program. The track was established in 2014 with a vision to help those with an interest in ambulatory medicine become better prepared and inspired to pursue outpatient careers after residency. The Primary Care program is fully integrated within the larger Internal Medicine Residency 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.
While primary care residents are very much a part of the larger Jefferson Internal Medicine community, they also benefit from having a smaller cohort of fellow primary care residents with whom they forge deep and meaningful connections. The Primary Care program community thrives because the residents have more time in the ambulatory setting than their categorical peers and because residents across all three years rotate together on their primary care blocks. While additional time in the ambulatory setting is common among primary care programs, the decision to align that time across all three years was a deliberate design choice to enhance the community feel and allow for shared curricular experiences.
Residents in the Primary Care program have early and more frequent ambulatory exposure to help develop generalist mentors. Primary care residents will have the Program Director as their faculty advisor. Because of the small program size, the Program Director can more directly oversee professional development among residents. The clinic preceptors are extremely accessible and together with fewer residents per preceptor compared with ACGME standards, residents form collegial relationships that enhance learning and create an environment of support. Additionally, having the residents rotate together across all three PGY years allows for extremely meaningful near-peer mentoring relationships to develop.
The primary care residents still participate in the same inpatient curriculum and conferences (morning report, noon conference, etc) as categorical residents. The curricular change for the primary care program is in the amount of time spent in the ambulatory setting and how that time is spent.
Expanded Outpatient Time
The Primary Care program provides early and more frequent ambulatory experiences to enrich residents' expertise in the outpatient setting. The primary care residents remain on a block schedule, modified from the strict categorical 4+2 system to be a hybrid 4+2 alternating with a 4+4 schedule. This allows for month-long blocks of primary care, resulting in residents spending nearly half of the year in the outpatient setting.
Residents may pursue research, educational projects, advocacy work, and/or other non-clinical electives through at least one protected session per week while on primary care blocks. They 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 primary care blocks. This doubling of didactic time (compared with categorical peers) allows for a richer and more tailored curriculum. 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 Primary Care residents 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 during ambulatory time, residents select a second “longitudinal clinic” site tailored to their interests to diversify their exposure to various primary care settings.
The Primary Care program is integrated within the Jefferson Internal Medicine categorical residency but does have a separate match number. Applicants are encouraged to apply to our categorical program as well. Applicants who have applied jointly to the categorical and primary care programs can interview on the same day for both programs. Applicants who have already interviewed for the categorical program can also be considered for the primary care program at their request. Please feel free to email Medicine.Residency@jefferson.edu with any questions regarding the Primary Care program.