Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants
Our mission is to train excellent clinicians by providing a rigorous curriculum and outstanding education. Additionally, our residents do research and participate in scholarly activities with the support of hospitalist and primary care faculty as well as specialty physicians in other departments. We are therefore an academic community hospital. CPMC is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco as well as Dartmouth Medical School.
The culture here is collegial and nurturing. Our residents work hard in a supportive atmosphere, providing an environment that enables them to succeed and grow. We are a smaller size program of about 14 to 15 residents per class (except the intern class that usually has 14 to 15 categoricals and 14 to 15 preliminaries) so everyone gets to know each other very well. We’re like a big family!
Our hospital is a quaternary referral center, meaning that in addition to the exceptionally diverse local population in San Francisco, we care for patients who transfer to CPMC from outside hospitals to receive subspecialty care. The patient population is diverse culturally and socioeconomically. Given the large catchment area that we have, we see great breadth of cases, from common to unique diseases.
Categorical interns have about 4 weeks dedicated to the primary care rotation and on top of that, a half day of clinic every other week. Preliminary interns do not have rotations in primary care unless they specify that they’d like to do one as an elective rotation. Second and third year residents have 8 weeks dedicated to the primary care rotation. These rotations are separated into four 2-week blocks, occurring every 12-14 weeks during the academic year.
Our categorical interns and residents have their own panel of patients that they follow over their time in residency training.
The MICU rotation prepares our trainees well in caring for critically ill patients. Categorical interns and second year residents spend 4 weeks and preliminary interns spend anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks (average 8 weeks) in the MICU. Third year residents are on the MICU rotation for 4 to 8 weeks. The MICU rotation includes both day and night shifts.
Categorical and preliminary interns have about 10 weeks of elective. Second and third year residents have about 14 weeks of elective each year. For a comprehensive list of available electives, please go to the “Curriculum” page.
Residents have a total of 4 weeks of vacation each year, split into two 2-week vacation blocks. Interns also have 4 weeks of vacation that is split into one 1-week vacation block and one 2-week vacation block; the last week of intern year is vacation for every intern.
We have excellent nursing, phlebotomy, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and radiology staff. We work very closely with them to provide the best care for our patients.
We use EPIC for the electronic health record.
Absolutely. Our residents are encouraged to start or participate in research projects. Many residents submit abstracts and give poster presentations at Internal Medicine Conferences including the American College of Physicians and Society of General Internal Medicine. Residents have published articles in peer-reviewed journals. We have a Quality Improvement (QI) curriculum built into the primary care rotation as well as a QI elective available for residents who want one on one mentorship on any QI research projects. For those interested in pursuing fellowship, our residents do research in their department of interest.
Our program provides both informal and formal feedback to residents. Interns receive verbal feedback from their residents and attending physicians on a weekly to bi-weekly basis and at the end of a rotation. The same occurs for the residents.
Web-based evaluation forms are provided to both interns/residents and faculty to be completed at the end of each rotation. The program director reviews the web-based feedback provided to interns and residents twice yearly.
Yes! Residents are members of committees for the residency program including the Curriculum, Wellness, and Education Committee. The Chief Residents also hold monthly resident feedback sessions for residents to provide their perspective on how their rotations, education, and experiences are going. CPMC’s program continues to improve year after year largely through the feedback of our residents.
No. Interns and residents do not ever have shifts that last as long as 24 hours. Night calls can start as early as 4:45 pm and end at 7:00 am, lasting a total of 14-15 hours. It is rare to have a shift exceed 15 hours.
- On the medicine rotation, interns cap at 8 patients each and residents cap at 16 patients each.
- On the MICU rotation, the team typically consists of 2 interns and 2 residents. The entire team caps at 12 patients. The ICU team can overcap if there are unstable floor patients who need ICU level care.
- On the Cardiology rotation, the team typically consists of 1 intern and 1 resident. The team caps at 7 telemetry patients. There is no CCU cap.
- On the Hematology Oncology rotation, the resident (no interns) caps at 8 patients each.
For Categorical Applicants
Yes! Our residents have been successful in matching into competitive fellowships. In the last few years we have had residents go into Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Hematology Oncology, Pulmonary Critical Care, Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, and Geriatrics. Some institutions where people have matched to include Stanford, UCSF, UCSD, Olive View-UCLA, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, OHSU, University of Southern California, Loma Linda University, and CPMC.
CPMC has its own fellowship programs in Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Endocrinology, and Hematology and Oncology.
Residents have been successful in finding primary care and hospitalist jobs after completing residency. For primary care, graduates have found jobs with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Menlo Medical Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and more. For hospitalist medicine, graduates have found jobs at CPMC at our various campuses, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Valley, Sutter Mills-Peninsula, and more.
Just as we do for our fellowship bound residents, the program director and associate program directors provide guidance and mentorship on the job search process. There are workshops to review your CV and to do mock interviews.
CPMC graduates have a great track record for passing the boards. We have a 96% passage rate over the last 5 years. Our program has a board review prep session in the Spring that is available to all residents.
For Preliminary Applicants
Categorical and preliminary interns are treated the same at our program and held to the same standards and expectations. The preliminary interns rotate through the same inpatient rotations and at the end of their intern year, are extremely prepared for subspecialty training as they have a solid foundation in general internal medicine. We set our preliminary interns up for success as they transition to the next step in their training.