Clinical Rotations and Continuity Clinic
This is our flagship rotation, with an amazing patient population and disease mix. There are four teams, each comprised of an R3, two interns, one attending, two 3rd-year medical students, and usually a 4th-year medical student. The interns and residents work days only on this rotation, and take Day Call every 4th day – admitting up to 4 patients before 4 pm.
A team of two R2s admit patients overnight and do after-hours general medicine consultations. These R2s present the new admissions to their team in the morning during bedside rounds, before they go home. So there is built in bedside teaching for the teams and the night residents get excellent teaching after their long night’s work.
No shift is longer than 16 hours for any member of the team and there is always a senior resident to lead the team during the day. Discharge planners are assigned to each team, which is very helpful.
The majority of patients admitted on this service come through our very busy Emergency Department, but we also get tertiary referrals from other hospitals in the Central Valley and Northern California areas. The supervising faculty are primarily hospitalists and general internists who are very experienced at inpatient care. They are wonderful clinical mentors and great role models of clinician-educators.
UC Davis is one of only 41 nationally recognized National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers. The inpatient Heme-Onc service cares for patients seen at the Cancer Center, patients admitted through the ER with new cancer diagnoses or complications of cancer, and transfers from other facilities for our extensive services (e.g. acute leukemia patients). For educational reasons, interns do not care for our bone marrow transplant patients or routine chemotherapy patients. These are handled by the fellows and faculty separately.
This service is staffed by four interns, two fellows, one hospitalist attending and one Hematology-Oncology attending. The interns share admissions daily until 5 PM under the supervision of our outstanding Hematology-Oncology fellows. There is no overnight call, as patients are covered by the UC Night Float intern. There is a separate teaching attending that teaches a didactic curriculum through several seminar sessions each week.
UC Night Float:
All interns do 1-2 weeks of night float, where they cross-cover on UC floor patients on the medicine and hematology-oncology services. They have on-site backup from more senior IM residents on ICU, Cardiology and General Medicine services, in addition to phone back-up from fellows and attendings.
The MICU is probably the favorite rotation for most of our residents. This is because of the incredible medical pathology, the great fellows and attendings that supervise this service, and a true multidisciplinary care team of nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists.
There are two “mega-teams” comprised of two R3s, one R2, one day intern and one night intern. Each mega-team takes call every other day. The R3s take overnight (24-hour) call every 4th night, admitting with the day intern during the day and the night intern during the night. They go home after presenting the patients on rounds in the morning. Intern shifts are less than 16 hours. The R2, however, does most of the daytime admissions with the day intern. We devised this schedule to have junior residents have MICU experience during daylight hours, doing admissions and procedures with the pulmonary fellow and/or attending. By the time you are an R3 on an overnight MICU call, you are more than ready to run the ship. Even so, there is an in-house pulmonary fellow to help supervise the overnight intern and resident.
UC Cardiology Inpatient Service:
This is a combined CCU and cardiology floor rotation. Residents will admit to the floor and the unit. There are two teams of two upper level residents, two interns, one fellow and one attending. Each resident takes overnight call (24 hours) every 4th night, going home after presenting the next morning. Interns take call with the resident for 16 hours and go home. There is a night intern that comes in to relieve the day intern, provide cross-cover and help with overnight admissions. There is an in-house cardiology attending every night to teach and assist with sick patients. We have an active and outstanding group of cardiologists practicing at the cutting edge, including an advanced heart failure program, mitral-clip service, and active TAVR program.
UC General Medicine Consult Service:
Upper level residents (two at a time) provide consultation to non-medical services under the supervision of the general medicine faculty. This team co-manages many of surgery patients, performs many preoperative evaluations, and helps manage many common post-operative problems. We have a set curriculum that all residents finish during their training. After this experience, residents are well-prepared to perform perioperative consultation and management.
UC Emergency Medicine:
Residents work for two weeks per year in our state-of-the-art Level-1 emergency department. This is a very busy ED and residents play a key role as the first evaluator of many common and complex patient problems. During this rotation, residents have ample opportunities to perform procedures and get experience with bedside ultrasound with our ER faculty. The two weeks during their second year is in the Up Front Care section, which is an ambulatory urgent care section of the ER. They get great experience at seeing many urgent ambulatory problems, including fractures, abscesses, and common ambulatory complaints.
All residents do two weeks on our inpatient Neurology Services. Here they learn the basics of acute inpatient stroke care, secondary prevention measures, and neurologic examination skills.
North Kaiser Wards:
North Kaiser is a hybrid rotation, where residents spend half of their time on the floors and half of their time in the MICU. This is a large community hospital, and most of the patients are admitted by the large hospitalist and ICU services. Given the size of the Kaiser system in our area, the hospital admits an incredible variety of medical patients. Residents take a distinct minority of the admissions to medicine (the rest go to a non-teaching service) – so the admitting hospitalists cherry pick the best cases for the housestaff teams. The Academic Floor Team is staffed by a subset of hospitalists who are dedicated to resident education. The Academic ICU Team has ICU attendings who are dedicated, experienced intensivists that have a track record of winning teaching awards. Kaiser has a long history of supporting our residents so that they receive optimal educational experiences.
There are four teams at Kaiser at a given time: two teams of one resident, one intern, and one 3rd-year medical student that manage the ICU; and one daytime floor team of one resident, two interns, and two third-year medical students, and one night team comprised of one resident.
- The night resident cross-covers on the housestaff patients in the ICU and on the floors Monday through Friday. They admit patients overnight to the floor and ICU. There is no night resident on weekends, when the hospitalists and ICU staff at Kaiser provide cross-coverage.
- The daytime floor team admits daily on Monday through Saturday (Sunday is the resident day off.
- The ICU teams take call during the daytime every other day. The night resident covers at night, except on Saturday and Sunday when the intensivist faculty cover the unit without residents.
There is a small Surgery Service at the VA, but for the most part this 50-bed hospital is run by the Medicine Service. This allows for our residents to see what it is really like to work in a community hospital and see virtually everything that comes their way. Add to this the wonderful VA patients, with their “bread and butter” medical problems and their great spirit, and this becomes a great rotation.
The floor at the VA is covered by four teams with one resident, one intern, and one third-year medical student. One of these teams is a Family Medicine team. The call schedule for these teams is Long Call/Post-Call/Short Call/No Admit Day. Residents take call overnight every 4th day, admitting to the floor over the 24 hour shift, and covering the VA ICU Team patients and admissions after 5 PM. The interns do not work overnight shifts. The team also takes short call every 4th day until 2 PM.
There is an in-house hospitalist 24-7 to assist the residents when needed.
The VA ICU admits cardiology and ICU patients to the 10-bed unit. This is a one resident, two intern team that admits ICU and cardiology patients daily. There are cardiology and pulmonary fellows on the service as well. Night admissions and cross-cover are provided by the overnight floor medicine team. The team rounds with the ICU team at 8 AM and the CCU team (cardiology fellow and faculty) at 10 AM every day.
The attending for the ICU team is one of our UC Davis pulmonary faculty who rotates at the VA. The CCU attending is one of several outstanding VA cardiology faculty. The night ICU attending in-house helps housestaff with complicated patients and procedures after hours.
Most of our electives are at the UC Davis Medical Center. We have electives in GI/Hepatology, Rheumatology/Allergy, Inpatient Nephrology, Outpatient Nephrology Pulmonary, Inpatient Cardiology, Outpatient Cardiology, Hematology-Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Endocrinology, Palliative Care, Toxicology, CHF, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Sleep Medicine. Some residents create custom electives for areas not represented. Most are a mix of inpatient and outpatient experiences. Under the 4+1+1 schedule, residents do electives in 2 week blocks (1+1 time).
Residents and interns have at least eight weeks of Ambulatory Blocks each year. During these weeks residents have three continuity clinic sessions and go to subspecialty medicine and non-medicine specialty (e.g. dermatology, gynecology, urology, PM&R) clinic sites.
- Friday mornings have a dedicated journal club every week, led by our key faculty.
- Interns who select the Research Track do the curriculum during these blocks in the second half of the year
- Interns videotape encounters twice during the year and review them with faculty to improve their medical interviewing skills.
- All residents are required to complete six directly-observed (by faculty) patient encounters each year during this rotation time, at which time they are given direct feedback.
- Time is given during ambulatory to complete quality improvement work and complete an online curriculum for ambulatory medicine (created by Johns Hopkins at peac.org).
All interns and residents get four weeks of vacation per year. These are taken in one- to two-week blocks over the course of the year. We do our best to meet the requests of our residents.
Of course, all residents get one day off per week on average when on inpatient rotations, per ACGME guidelines. On electives, residents are not required to work weekends, except when they are covering night shifts or providing backup services to other residents who are unable to work.
All primary care, TEACH, IM-Psychiatry, and categorical residents have at least 130 half-day clinic sessions, as mandated by the ACGME. Residency programs across the country, including ours, have always struggled with the tension of residents going to clinic while working on very busy inpatient services. In July 2012, we instituted a new schedule, which we call 4+1+1, to try to eliminate this tension. In 4+1+1, residents do four weeks of an inpatient rotation, followed by two weeks of elective, ambulatory block, or vacation (this is the 1+1 part). Residents no longer have their continuity clinic during their four weeks of inpatient work. During the 1+1 weeks, they have 2-3 continuity clinics where they can care for their primary care patients and give them their full attention. A sample schedule can be seen on the Categorical Program page.
Most residents have their continuity clinic at the UC Davis General Medicine Clinic. This clinic comprises 32 exam rooms and over 40 staff supporting 70+ residents in the residency clinic, our general medicine faculty practice, and endocrinology, infectious disease, rheumatology, anticoagulation, and allergy clinics. It is a full-service primary care clinic that sees patients of great ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.
Residents learn to practice with patients who have HMO, PPO, Medicare, and Medicaid insurances. Four to 12 residents work side-by-side each half-day with outstanding general medicine faculty. Residents work in small groups called Firms, and every resident has a dedicated Firm Attending who helps out at any time with any clinical questions about the resident’s patients. We also assign each intern an upper level resident “buddy” to help out with running their clinic panel.
The General Medicine Clinic boasts wonderful support for a residency clinic. Many residency programs have poorly funded and under-supported continuity clinic sites. We have an outstanding telephone nurse triage system, pharmacist-run medication refill system, pharmacist run controlled-substance management program (for safe opioid prescribing!), pharmacist-run hypertension and medication management clinics, and our own Psychiatry, Wound, Procedure, Musculoskeletal, and within our residency clinic walls. We also have excellent interpreting and social work services, and most recently care coordinators and health coaches for patients that need more intense care. This provides great access to needed services, and teaches residents to work in a multidisciplinary environment. In addition, the fully implemented and integrated EMR allows residents to easily care for their patients away from the clinic, and also allows great communication with staff, faculty (and patients though our email portal!). When you leave UC Davis, you will be ready to care for the sickest patients in any ambulatory setting.
We have 8-10 residents in our program with their continuity clinic at Kaiser Clinics. Here, each resident sees patients with a single faculty doctor within that doctor’s practice, over their entire three years. Residents love this apprentice model due to its close mentoring and role modeling. Residents also like working in the highly efficient, patient-centered Kaiser closed-HMO model.
About four residents per class have their continuity clinic at the Sacramento County Clinics—we call it the TEACH Clinic. This clinic cares primarily for low income MedicAid patients from our surrounding underserved neighborhood and undocumented residents of Sacramento County. Residents love caring for this very underserved population. We try to put interns who have an expressed desire to work with this population at the County Clinic. The five TEACH residents also have their continuity clinic here during their 3rd year. All of these residents work as a group practice to care for their patients.