Primary Care Pathway

Pathway Video

Our Mission

The Primary Care Pathway provides an individualized educational experience for residents interested in pursuing careers in primary care. The pathway complements the already robust ambulatory medicine training that residents receive at UCSD by providing additional continuity clinic experiences, a supplemental didactic curriculum, and exposure to a range of ambulatory clinics with high relevance to primary care practice.  

The program provides unique opportunities for residents to learn about various models of care and receive personalized mentoring in career exploration. The pathway fosters a community of outstanding general internists among residents and faculty. 

Applications for the Primary Care Pathway occur immediately after the match, for participation in all three years of training, and again during the fall of the PGY-1 year for additional residents who decide to join for the PGY-2 and PGY-3 years. 

Pathway Components

Residents in the Primary Care Pathway participate in three, 4-week ambulatory care rotations (blocks) annually. Two weeks of each ambulatory rotation are dedicated to customized primary care blocks and two weeks are dedicated to ambulatory electives. 

Elective Rotations
Residents in the pathway work with the pathway director to prioritize elective selections that will best prepare them for primary care practice.  They are encouraged to select outpatient electives in outpatient endocrinology, dermatology, Kaiser ambulatory medicine, pain medicine, obesity medicine, psychiatry, and surgical subspecialties. These are in addition to the required rotations in geriatrics, musculoskeletal medicine, and neurology. 

Primary Care Blocks
Each block consists of a mix of continuity clinics, subspecialty clinics, primary care academic half-days, and unique clinical and educational opportunities. We strive to individualize each resident’s schedule based on personal interests and career goals.  

Sample Primary Care Block Schedule:

Second Continuity Experience 
Residents in the pathway each have a second continuity clinic (primary care or subspecialty) that they attend at least weekly while they are on primary care blocks throughout their residency training. The clinic is selected by the resident, and the preceptor is hand-selected by the pathway director. 

Events and Site Visits
Special events for primary care residents are scheduled during these blocks, including primary care morning teaching cases, primary care journal clubs, general medicine research panels, career panels, unique trainings in Suboxone prescribing and long-acting reversible contraception, and individualized preparation for the job search process. We also take site visits to learn about different models of care, including the prison healthcare system an integrative medicine clinic, and the Indian Health Service. 

Primary Care Pathway residents visiting the San Diego American Indian Community Health Center

Thursday afternoons of each rotation are dedicated to didactics related to general internal medicine and skills development for primary care doctors. Sessions include topics such as outpatient pain management, agenda-setting in primary care, the business of medicine, EMR data analysis, common ENT complaints, dermatologic procedures, common eye complaints, motivational interviewing, and smoking cessation. Residents are encouraged to suggest topics of interest for the curriculum. 

Scholarly Work
Residents in the pathway are encouraged to create scholarly works including clinical vignettes, original research projects, and educational innovations and submit their work for presentation and/or publication. The primary care blocks are scheduled to overlap with the Society of General Internal Medicine regional and national conferences to promote attendance at and submission to these conferences.

Our Clinics and Mentors

Primary care residents are individually mentored through the career exploration and job search process by the pathway director and other select primary care faculty. Our primary goal is to help our residents find the best possible career pathway that allows them to achieve their professional goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.  

Beyond Residency!

Graduates of the primary care pathway go on to a wide range of practice environments in San Diego and across the county and world. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue international work, private practice primary care, academic primary care, sports medicine fellowship, HIV medicine, geriatrics, and gay men’s health.

Residents and recent graduates in primary care at our COVID19-friendly primary care dinner!
PCP Pathway

Primary care residents with primary care doctor, organizer, and founder of the non-profit Primary Care Progress, Dr. Andrew Morris-Singer, at the primary care retreat in 2016

If you are interested in the UCSD Internal Medicine Primary Care Pathway, please contact Stacy Charat, the Primary Care Pathway Director.