The Primary Care (PC) Internal Medicine Residency Program was started as a separate track within the UC Davis Internal Medicine Residency Training Program in 1979. As categorical medicine residency programs are traditionally adept at training residents for subspecialty and inpatient medicine, the chief purpose of the PC Program is to train physicians to provide comprehensive outpatient and inpatient general medicine care. It accomplishes this goal through combining the strengths of the categorical training program with an intensified and diverse ambulatory care experience.

Patient Population

UC Davis Medical Center serves a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population, inclusive of many different payer types – HMO, PPO, Medicare, Medicaid, and the underserved population of Sacramento County. Primary Care residents maintain continuity clinics at UC Davis, Sacramento County, or Kaiser and additionally have the opportunity to work in affiliated subspecialty clinics in the community, including the VA, Kaiser, County, and CARES, leading to an experience with both breadth and depth. Our patients are complex and extremely rewarding to serve. Graduate of the PC Program are prepared for practice in any setting.

Internship (PGY1)

The PGY1 year is identical to the categorical intern schedule, which already has a comprehensive base of outpatient training and core curriculum.

Residency (PGY2 and PGY3)

The PC program adheres to the overall 4+2 system but differs from the Categorical program in critical ways.

A greater proportion of Primary Care time is ambulatory. Residents on the PC Outpatient blocks have continuity clinics twice weekly and Geriatrics Clinic once weekly. This Geriatric primary care continuity clinic is a unique feature of our program, and our residents leave with outstanding skills in geriatrics. Residents also go to the local HIV Clinic FQHC (CARES) once every two weeks.

Housestaff rotate through a large number of medicine subspecialty clinics and non-medicine specialty clinics. Residents are able to choose most of these elective clinics based upon their own perceived educational needs, with a core of them being required. Residents can also create their own clinic experiences in other clinics if desired (e.g. refugee clinic). For their inpatient time, residents rotate through inpatient medicine wards, Medical ICU (MICU), Cardiology Inpatient Service (CIS), ER, general medicine consults, and subspecialty consultation or research electives.

Each resident is partnered with one or two of the other PC residents to share the care of a panel of Geriatric Clinic patients. A major benefit of the 4+2 schedule is not having clinic during inpatient rotations. Their clinic partner helps to manage their outpatients during this time, if necessary. Residents attend their continuity clinic two half-days per week during elective or research months. Please also refer to the Categorical Medicine Track for details on inpatient rotations and the intern year rotations.

Clinical Rotations

A. Continuity Clinics and Primary Care Program Specialty Clinics:

  • Primary Care continuity at UC Davis, Sacramento County, or Kaiser.
  • Geriatrics Clinic (UC Davis): one ½ day session per week.
  • CARES (HIV) Clinic: one ½ day session every 2 weeks.

B. Specialty and Subspecialty Clinics:

  • Women’s Health Clinic (VA)
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Cardiology (UC Davis)
  • Pulmonary Clinic (UC Davis, VA)
  • Gastroenterology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Hepatology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Endocrinology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Nephrology Clinic (Sacramento County and UC Davis)
  • Neurology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Rheumatology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Dermatology Clinic (VA Medical Center and UC Davis)
  • Urology Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Breast Cancer Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Hematology Clinic (VA Medical Center )
  • Infectious Diseases Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Procedure Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Allergy Clinic (UC Davis, Mercy Health Care)
  • Pre-Op Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Podiatry Clinic (Mercy Health Care)
  • Sports Medicine Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Medicine-Psychiatry Clinic (UC Davis)
  • Pain Medicine/Psychiatry (UC Davis)
  • Wound Clinic (UC Davis)

We can also help arrange for residents to go to a myriad of other clinics that run at UC Davis on an ad hoc basis, based upon individual residents’ desires (e.g. occupational health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, etc).

C. Inpatient Rotations:

Residents will have 13 blocks of a combination of these rotations over their final two years.

  • UC Davis General Medicine Wards
  • VA General Medicine Wards
  • VA ICU/CCU
  • North Kaiser Wards
  • North Kaiser ICU
  • UC Davis Medical ICU
  • UC Davis Cardiology Inpatient Service
  • UC Davis General Medicine Consultation Service - a combination of outpatient urgent care and inpatient general medicine consults.
  • UC Davis Subspecialty Elective Consult Services
  • UC Davis Emergency Room

Please visit our 'Rotations & Clinics' page to learn more about the inpatient rotations & outpatient clinics that our residents rotate through.

Seminars and Didactics

PC residents on PC Outpatient Blocks meet every Tuesday morning (8 to noon) for interactive seminars, held in conjunction with the TEACH residents. This is in addition to the core cohort curriculum delivered to the larger residency, grand rounds, MMQS conference, and specialty conferences on elective.

Key topics covered include:

  • Psychiatry in Primary Care

    • This seminar series includes the approach to the diagnosis and treatment of common psychosocial topics pertinent to primary care. Topics include: somatization disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, competency assessment (forensic psychiatry), eating disorders, psychiatric emergencies, the psychotic patient, personality disorders, delirium, and dementia.

  • Medical Interviewing and Communication Skills Seminar

    • This seminar series entails reviewing both basic and advanced interviewing skills, including motivational interviewing techniques. We concentrate on interview techniques, patient-physician communication skills, and psychosocial aspects of patient care.

  • Health Care Policy

    • Common policy topics are reviewed and discussed in depth, including healthcare financing, health system structure, advocacy and how we as physicians can affect health care policy and be true advocates in our current health care system.

  • Healthcare Disparities

    • This series of seminars reviews healthcare disparities and social determinants of health, and how they can combat them.

    • During the primary care track, we also have more in depth lectures on specific populations and risks:

      • LGBTQI Medicine
      • Gun Violence
      • Latino Health
      • Geriatrics
      • Homeless Health
      • Women's Health

  • Outpatient Morning Report

    • Primary Care and TEACH are jointly responsible for presenting a case at morning report each Tuesday, focusing on outpatient medicine.

  • Clinical Reasoning/EBM Seminars

    • PC residents run these interactive seminars to elucidate the fine points of clinical reasoning, with the help of faculty facilitators.

  • Journal Club

    • PC Residents meet together during their Tuesday morning sessions with faculty members and critically review articles from the medical literature with their colleagues, applying the basic tenets of Evidence Based Medicine.

Scholarly Activity

In addition to the clinical rotations, each Primary Care Resident is expected to complete an annual scholarly project. The scope and content of the project can be quite variable. In the past, projects have ranged from scholarly literature reviews to clinical research studies. Each resident is expected to present his or her project to their resident colleagues at the end of the academic year. Residents are encouraged to submit their project for publication and/or for presentation at regional and national meetings.

Schedules

The proposed schedules for Primary Care PGY2 and PGY3 years are outlined below. Please note that these numbers are subject to change, depending on a variety of factors.

Outpatient 16-18 weeks
UC Davis/Kaiser/VA Wards 14 weeks
MICU/VA ICU 2-4 weeks
Cardiology Inpatient 4 weeks
ER/Urgent Care 2 weeks
GenMed Consults 2 weeks
Neurology 2 weeks (R2 only)
Elective 4-6 weeks
Vacation 4 weeks

Faculty

Primary Care residents work very closely with UC Davis faculty in a wide range of specialties. Our General Medicine faculty are dedicated clinician-educators and most care for their own primary care panels in the same clinic. They are great clinicians and role-models for doctor-patient relationships.

What About TEACH?

We often get the question “can you do the TEACH program if you are in the primary care track?”  

The answer is a resounding YES. 

TEACH is a program for 3rd-year residents only, so many PC residents do their intern year, a PC R2 year, and then move over to the TEACH program and the County Clinics for their 3rd year. 

It adds up to a well-rounded education, with great experiences in PC and geriatrics in the 2nd year, and extensive work with the underserved (in PC and inpatient settings) in the 3rd year. 

At least half of our TEACH residents have done the PC track for their first two years.

How To Apply

Both our Categorical and Primary Care programs have separate numbers in the National Residency Match Program, and both programs are listed on ERAS.  

  • If you are interested in either, or both, you just select it when applying through ERAS. You are free to rank both programs in the Match, but we use ERAS to determine if we should list you.

We generally do not put all six of our primary care slots in the Match. Rather, we usually have 3-4 slots in the Match, and the remaining 2-3 PC Program positions that remain after the Match will be filled from the intern class the following winter. This allows those medical students who are less certain of their career goals at match time to get six more months of experience as interns. After this experience, these interns can make a more informed decision on whether to pursue a primary care career.

Thus, applicants who are certain that they want to do primary care should list the PC program in their match list. They should also list the Categorical program, as they can often get into the program via the application during the intern year. Applicants who are uncertain about a primary care career can join the Categorical program. By November of their intern year, they likely will have a better idea about if they want to do primary care. If so, they can apply for the remaining primary care slots. We usually have space to accommodate all that apply in their internship.

The applications for the slots to be filled from our active interns are sent out in November, and final selection takes place in late January each year. Preference is given to those residents interested in pursuing primary care internal medicine as a career, or those who plan to do subspecialty training in fields that involve significant ambulatory practice.

Primary Care Graduates

Visit our 'Life After Residency' page to see where past Primary Care residents have gone after graduating. 

How To Contact Us

Any questions about the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program can be directed to the Primary Care Program Director, Dr. Zach Holt, at zbholt@ucdavis.edu.