Program Curriculum

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’.

Clinical Training Sites

Here at UCSD Internal Medicine we have the opportunity to train at three distinct locations; Hillcrest Medical Center, VA San Diego and UC San Diego La Jolla. Each site offers the opportunity to work with a unique patient population.

Campus Tour

Schedule

At UCSD, we operate on a 4-week block schedule. This schedule splits the year into 13 4-week blocks, which, depending upon the rotations can be further split into 2-week blocks.

4-Week Rotations
– Hillcrest & VA Wards
– Hillcrest ICU, VA ICU, CVC (Cardiovascular Combined ICU & Wards)
– Research

2-Week Rotations
– Hillcrest & VA Nights
– Jacobs Hospital Medicine Wards, Jacobs ICU
– Emergency Medicine Rotations
– All Consult Rotations
– All Outpatient Rotations
– VIQ (Quality Improvement & Crosscover)
– Vacation (2x 2-week blocks)

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). The reason for this, is two-fold:
1. This allows us to maximize elective time, and give our residents the most flexibility in scheduling and choosing their desired rotations.
2. Each year we ask our alumni if they think our system should be switched to “X+Y”, and each year they strongly oppose the idea, stating that they preferred our block system and it better prepared them for their future endeavors.

Education!!

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 knowledge growth, we have dedicated 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 & VA training sites, and about 3 days per week at our Jacobs Medical Center! Here is a visual of our teaching calendar on any given week!

Longitudinal Curriculum
While our conferences hit on an internal medicine approach to any medical topic you could imagine, we also have educational content on certain subjects that courses 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 & the AHEAD program have linked resources we can share with those who are not yet part of our UCSD IM family.

RACE (Resident as Clinican Educator) For All!
Ultrasound (Point-of-Care Ultrasound for the Internist)
AHEAD (Advancing Health Equity, Advocacy, & Diversity)
Women in Medicine
Wellness
Business in Medicine

Continuity Clinics

UC San Diego Hillcrest Clinic

Hillcrest Internal Medicine, also known as “Lewis Internal Medicine,” is located a few blocks away from UC San Diego Medical Center  in Hillcrest. 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-only speaking population. Many of the residents’ patients are insured by Medicare or Medi-Cal (California Medicaid). Residents have their own panel of patients. Records utilize Epic with access to all documentation within the UC San Diego 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 UC San Diego Health system. 

UC San Diego Sorrento Valley Clinic

The UC San Diego Sorrento Valley Medical Group, started in 2015, exposes residents to a small-practice type environment, where staff and faculty know each other very well. This enhances the opportunities for team oriented care, optimized to assist patients with a spectrum of needs and issues. The patient population is from all over the San Diego area and includes underserved and Medi-Cal patients. Records utilize Epic with access to all documentation within the UC San Diego Health system.

VA Primary Care Clinics

The VA San Diego Healthcare System clinics, located in La JollaMission 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. The record utilizes the national VA EMR, CPRS. Residents are incorporated into Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) that include physicians, nurses, clerical staff, pharmacists, dietitians and mental health practitioners embedded in primary care.

Scripps Green Clinic & Kaiser Permanente Clinics

The Scripps Green Clinic and Kaiser Permanente continuity clinics are community-based practices external to UCSD with a unique “nested practice” model. Each resident is paired with one attending for the entire year and sees a subset of the attending’s patients as his/her continuity patient panel. The patient population is typical of a community practice with excellent 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). The reason for this, is two-fold:
1. This allows us to maximize elective time, and give our residents the most flexibility in scheduling and choosing their desired rotations.
2. Each year we ask our alumni if they think our system should be switched to “X+Y”, and each year they strongly oppose the idea, stating that they preferred our block system and it better prepared them for their future endeavors.

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.

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 Scripps, Sharp, and Kaiser. While many of these sites are located very close (or within) one of our 3 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 preceding 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, or of course, during vacation

What is Cross-Coverage or “Jeopardy” like at UCSD?

We have a robust cross coverage system that is integrated into our Value and Quality Improvement (VIQ) two week rotation. All residents will participate in this once each year during residency and 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!

How does the Preliminary Intern Schedule differ from the Categorical Intern Schedule?

The preliminary intern year is nearly identical to the categorical intern year. Preliminary interns may opt to participate in continuity clinic, but it is not required.