This space is dedicated to providing information on the most frequently requested data from applicants, specifically regarding the structure of our program and its “nuts & bolts.”
Here at UCSD Internal Medicine, we have the opportunity to train at 3 distinct locations: UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center, VA San Diego Healthcare System, and UCSD Jacobs Medical Center La Jolla. Each offers the opportunity to work with a unique population.
At UCSD, we operate on a 4-week block schedule. This schedule splits the year into 13 4-week blocks, which depending on the rotations can be further split into 2-week blocks.
4-Week Rotations – Hillcrest & VA Wards – Hillcrest ICU, VA ICU, and CVC (Combined Cardiology ICU & Wards) – Research
2-Week Rotations – Hillcrest & VA Nights – Jacobs Hospital Medicine Wards and Jacobs ICU – Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care Rotations – All Consult and Outpatient Rotations – VIQ (Quality Improvement & Cross-Cover) – Vacation (two 2-week blocks)
Our residency does NOT operate on an “X+Y” system. Instead, continuity clinic days occur during each rotation (typically 1-2/month on inpatient, 1/week on outpatient). This allows us to maximize elective time and give our residents the most flexibility in scheduling and choosing their desired rotations. Each year, we ask our alumni if they think our system should be switched to “X+Y,” and they strongly oppose the idea, stating that they preferred our block system and it better prepared them for their future endeavors.
Our program is absolutely jam-packed with dedicated learning! Of course, the best place to learn medicine and evolve as a physician is at the bedside with your team. To supplement this primary source of growth, we have teaching conferences and multiple longitudinal curriculums on various topics related to internal medicine.
Dedicated Daily Teaching There is at least one didactic session every single day at our Hillcrest and VA training sites and three days per week at Jacobs Medical Center!
Morning Teaching Conference
Morning Teaching Conference
Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
Morning Teaching Conference
Resident Signout Rounds
Radiology Rounds (VA)
Longitudinal Curriculum While our conferences hit on an internal medicine approach to any medical topic you could imagine, we also have educational content threads that course through your time here as a resident. This allows our residents to return to these subjects multiple times, building upon their previous knowledge and improving both retention and expertise.
Some of our current longitudinal curriculums are listed below. Each is robust, but only our Ultrasound Curriculum and the AHEAD program have linked resources we can share with those who are not yet part of our UCSD IM family.
UC San Diego Hillcrest Internal Medicine, also known as “4th and Lewis Internal Medicine,” is located a few blocks away from UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center. Patients are culturally and ethnically diverse and are from the local area as well as several hours away. Many languages are represented, including a large Spanish-speaking-only population. Many of the residents’ patients are insured by Medicare or Medi-Cal. Residents have their own panel of patients. Records utilize Epic with access to all documentation within the UCSD Health system.
UC San Diego La Jolla Clinic
The UC San Diego Internal Medicine Group – La Jolla has a group of well-established attending physicians with large individual practices. The patient population is predominantly from the La Jolla and north San Diego county area. Residents have their own panel of patients and become comfortable with routine medical issues, pain management, and women’s health. Records utilize Epic with access to all documentation within the UCSD Health system.
VA Primary Care Clinics
The VA San Diego Healthcare System clinics, located in La Jolla, Mission Valley, and Sorrento Valley, deliver outstanding primary care to a diverse population of male and female veterans of all ages. These clinics provide residents the opportunity to build and manage their patient panel under the supervision of excellent general medicine and women’s health faculty. Residents are incorporated into Patient Aligned Care Teams that include physicians, nurses, clerical staff, pharmacists, dietitians, and mental health practitioners embedded in primary care. Records utilize the national VA electronic medical records system, CPRS.
Kaiser Permanente Clinics
The Kaiser Permanente continuity clinics are community-based practices external to UCSD with a unique “nested practice” model. Each resident is paired with one attending and sees a subset of the attending’s patients as his or her continuity patient panel. The patient population is typical of a community practice with outstanding patient follow-up and opportunity for continuity of care. The experience provides excellent continuity with follow-up shared between the resident and attending in a true partnership model.
FAQs about our Program!
What is the current PPE availability at UCSD and the VA?
Residents have no issues obtaining appropriate PPE when caring for COVID+ and patients under investigation. This includes face shields, gowns, and surgical or N95 masks depending on the practice setting.
Will I be taking care of patients with COVID-19 at UCSD?
Absolutely! All inpatient services at Hillcrest, Jacobs/CVC, and the VA have the ability to care for patients with COVID-19. This includes ward, ICU, subspecialty, and consult services at all sites. At Hillcrest and the VA, patients with COVID-19 are distributed the same as all other patients admitted to the hospital.
Why does UCSD do a “Block” Schedule rather than “X+Y”?
As mentioned above (see “Schedule”) our residency does NOT operate on an “X+Y” system. Instead, continuity clinic days occur on each rotation (typically 1-2/month on inpatient, 1/week on outpatient). This allows us to maximize elective time and give our residents the most flexibility in scheduling and choosing their desired rotations. Each year, we ask our alumni if they think our system should be switched to “X+Y,” and they strongly oppose the idea, stating that they preferred our block system and it better prepared them for their future endeavors.
How is continuity clinic structured?
Residents are assigned to a specific continuity clinic site prior to the start of their intern year based on a preference survey. Clinic site options include multiple UCSD and VA primary care clinics, as well as clinics at Kaiser Permanente. While many of these sites are located very close (or within) one of our three main hospital sites, some are located in other various regions of San Diego county.
With regard to when you will have clinic, due to our “Block” schedule as described above (see “Schedule” or the above FAQ), residents will attend their continuity clinic: – 1-2 days/month during inpatient rotations. During this time, the rest of the team will cover their patients for the day. – 1 day/month while on outpatient rotations. – There is NO continuity clinic during night rotations, VIQ, and, of course, vacation.
How much time do we spend at UCSD vs. the VA?
Over the course of your three years, most residents will spend 50% of their time at VA sites and 50% at UCSD sites.
What is cross-coverage or “jeopardy” like at UCSD?
We have a robust cross-coverage system that is integrated into our two-week Value and Quality Improvement (VIQ) rotation. All residents participate in this once each year during residency. This group of residents serve as an immediate cross-coverage pool should the need arise. When not covering fellow residents, they will participate in a dedicated quality improvement curriculum and develop their own quality improvement project. Many residents go on to implement these projects in our hospital systems and publish their work!