Improving Quality of Life Through Clinical Science
The Department of Internal Medicine stands ready to cure when possible, but always to care for and promote the healing of patients with both catastrophic and chronic illness. Our physicians strive to prevent illness and maintain functionality and quality of life. We combine the best of therapeutic and diagnostic technology with a caring attitude toward the spiritual and personal crises that often accompany life and illness. Providing dynamic leadership through the medical staff and multidisciplinary centers and improving quality of patient care are top priorities for the clinical care portion of our mission.
What Sets Us Apart
Department faculty are distinguished by their professionalism, experience and expertise in both disease and public health, and breadth of knowledge in many specialty areas. Our physicians believe in comprehensive, multidisciplinary, scientifically based medicine; collaboration with colleagues in other divisions and departments is a guiding principle. The department also strongly promotes a team approach that partners physicians with many other allied health professionals. Our asthma clinic, for example, pools the skills and experience of pulmonologists, allergy specialists, dietitians, social workers and respiratory therapists. Patient care through the department is inherently linked to ongoing physician education. Because UC Davis is a teaching hospital, our faculty conduct much of the medical student training at the medical center in patients' rooms, creating a real-world setting for learning and educating patients in the process. Many of our physicians not only teach but conduct important research, discovering new information they might not learn otherwise. This combination of clinical experience and research opportunities makes them better doctors. Faculty members also continually seek additional training on the latest therapies and technology through course work, seminars and literature review, thus enhancing their knowledge and skills.
Philosophy of Care
Our physicians address the wide variety of medical problems faced by adults. Faculty are interested in the human side of medicine, not just the technical aspect, and consider a multitude of factors beyond the presenting symptoms when diagnosing patients. What is going on in a patient's life outside his or her medical condition is just as important as what is happening physically. In treating patients, our physicians are both culturally sensitive and emotionally supportive. We work together as a team to build patient confidence and ensure complete care - from initial patient screenings, to necessary procedures or surgery, to follow-up services. The department is committed to providing quality care, tracking outcomes and improving care delivery.
Providing a true "continuum of care" for patients means delivering health care that is truly comprehensive. Our physicians strive to communicate effectively and educate both patients and family members to understand and manage disease. We also sponsor support groups that provide psychological help for patients dealing with serious, chronic illness or coping with the difficult waiting period or dramatic life changes that accompany organ transplantation.
Community Safety Net
Every day, ambulances bring dozens of critically ill and injured patients to the emergency room at UC Davis Medical Center. Our facility is well-prepared and equipped to handle both the sheer volume and type of complex cases that come to us on a daily basis. A full complement of physicians from the emergency medicine and clinical toxicology division staff the emergency room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. These emergency teams can deal with 10 ambulances in 10 minutes, a feat unmatched by most other regional facilities. Doctors make critical life decisions in situations where minutes count, significantly impacting patient outcomes.
Emergency services at UC Davis provide a safety net for Sacramento and the extended community. No matter what problem comes through the door, a board-certified physician is available. Moreover, the emergency room is the hospital gateway. Patients who come to our facility will receive the best quality emergency care, whether they are in need of acute intervention or because, for socioeconomic reasons, they cannot get care anywhere else.
Increased Access to Care
Providing greater access to medical care is another department priority. The nationally acclaimed UC Davis Regional Outreach and TeleHealth Program is among the country's largest and the only one ranked in the top 10 for four consecutive years. Telehealth services have facilitated more than 2,000 patient consults in a broad range of specialties, including the internal-medicine areas of cardiology, endocrinology, hematology and oncology, hepatology, infectious diseases, nephrology, nutrition, palliative care, pulmonary medicine, rheumatology, and transplantation.
The telehealth program increases access to care for home-bound seniors, patients at correctional health facilities and primary-care clinics, and communities with few medical specialists or at significant distance from UC Davis. Telemedicine allows a patient and primary-care physician to consult with an internal-medicine specialist during an examination, providing the specialist with immediate data and eliminating the need for the patient to visit each provider separately. State-of-the-art, real-time images are electronically transmitted for consultation, expanding the reach of specialty care and linking patients and physicians in remote areas to the resources of the department.