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 goal 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.

The PC curriculum begins in the 2nd & 3rd years of residency. Residents can be a part of the PC program in two ways. For the interns who applied to the PC Program as medical students, they begin residency as members of the PC program. For non-PC interns who decide they have an interest in primary care, they are able to apply for the PC program in the second half of their intern year. 

Our Patients

UC Davis Health  serves a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population, inclusive of many different payer types – HMO, PPO, Medicare, Medicaid, and the underserved population of Sacramento County.  Similar to the categorical residents, the primary care residents can have their continuity clinic at one of many sites -- UC Davis, Kaiser, or Sacramento County.  They also work in our affiliated subspecialty clinics at VA Mather, Kaiser, Sacramento County, and CARES. Our primary care residents receive an experience with both breadth and depth and work with patients who are medically complex and extremely rewarding to serve. After completing their training, our PC residents are ready to practice anywhere!

The General Medicine Clinic

The UC Davis General Medicine Clinic is a traditional academic clinical setting with excellent support staff and nurses, and is an NCQA certified Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). It has received awards in 2007 and 2008 for excellence based on patient perceptions – a rare achievement for resident clinics. We use Epic in our clinics and inpatient settings, which allows for easy and convenient review of medical records electronically. Residents also have access to MyChart, which is an online, secure way to communicate with their clinic patients.  

The General Medicine Clinic boasts wonderful support for our residents' clinics. Our residents work in a multidisciplinary environment that help them provide excellent care. Some features of our clinic are:

  • An outstanding telephone nurse triage system
  • A pharmacist-run medication refill system
  • A pharmacist-run controlled-substance management program to ensure safe prescribing and high-quality monitoring 
  • Pharmacist-run hypertension and medication management clinics
  • Procedure clinics
  • Psychiatry clinics
  • Wound care clinics
  • In-person and over-the-phone interpreters
  • Social work and care coordinators
  • An integrated EMR in the form of Epic 

Inpatient Rotations & Clinics

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

Educational Seminars & Didactics

PC residents on PC Outpatient Blocks meet every Tuesday morning (8 to noon) for interactive seminars. In addition, PC residents attend the Department academic seminar series on Monday afternoons.

  • Internal Medicine Academic Conference

    • This is the core IM didactic curriculum, with conference occurring a half day per week.  See the main Categorical page for a more detailed description of the Cohort system and related conference.

  • Morbidity, Mortality, Quality and Safety Conference

    • We have a monthly Morbidity, Mortality, Quality and Safety Conference (MMQS) on Monday at noon.   Here we do M&M cases with faculty and residents over lunch, and we add in topics relating to quality improvement and patient safety.  This is very popular and useful.

  • Internal Medicine Grand Rounds

    • We have Grand Rounds every Thursday at noon, which is videocasted to all hospital sites.  One quarter of these Grand Rounds are dedicated to clinical topics, such as Clinical Solving Problem Cases, where expert clinicians work through an unknown case presented by our chief residents.  Once a month, we have our Clinical Grand Rounds, where one of our residents presents an outstanding case from our service, with experts discussing the complexities and learning points from the case.

  • Other Internal Medicine Conferences

    • When on subspecialty rotations (consults or CCU), residents can also attend the subspecialty conferences, which are regularly held. While at the VA, residents attend noon conferences on a daily basis.

  • Psychiatry in Primary Care Seminar Series (monthly, Tuesday PC Seminars)

    • This seminar series is run in concert with faculty from the Department of Psychiatry. It includes a series of seminars covering 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 (quarterly, Tuesday PC Seminars)

    • This seminar series entails reviewing both basic and advanced interviewing skills, including motivational interviewing techniques.  Residents also videotape patient encounters in clinic, which we review as a group. We concentrate on interview techniques, patient-physician communication skills, and psychosocial aspects of patient care. It is an eye-opening and valuable experience for the residents and is a great hands-on opportunity to discuss these important topics.

  • PC Resident Journal Club (2-3 times monthly, Tuesday PC Seminars)

    • 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.

  • Outpatient Morning Report (weekly, Tuesday AM)

    • PC residents attend UCD morning report and present educational cases from clinic, to allow focused discussion on common outpatient problems.

  • General Medicine Pre-Clinic Huddle (weekly)

    • Every week, we have a preclinic huddle, where physicians meet for 20 minutes before clinic to discuss many aspects of ambulatory care, including some quality improvement, and practice management techniques.  The clinic nurses and staff often participate.  We supplement this with the excellent web-based Ambulatory curriculum (developed and maintained by Johns Hopkins) that residents complete on their own time.

  • Health Care Policy Seminars (Tuesday PC Seminars)

    • Common policy topics are reviewed and discussed in depth, including healthcare financing, health system structure, and how we as physicians can affect health care policy and be true advocates in our current health care system. We also discuss issues of population health, universal vs. non-universal health care and insurance systems.

  • Clinical Reasoning/EBM Seminars (Tuesday PC Seminars)

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

  • Healthcare Disparities Seminars (Tuesday PC Seminars)

    • This series of seminars will teach primary care and TEACH residents about healthcare disparities in the US, and how they can combat them.

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.

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 can select either or both programs 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.