Residency Tracks

CAT retreat 1.HEIC

Categorical Program

Our Categorical Medicine Residency Program has an intern class of 14 interns and a total program size of 42 residents. The program is designed to give housestaff a balance of direct inpatient care in our busy safety-net hospital and outpatient clinics with protected didactic teaching and interactive workshops. Categorical residents have progressive responsibilities from PGY-1 to PGY-3 years in patient care, team management, and teaching. Roughly half of our graduates enter hospitalist medicine, while about 30-40% pursue fellowship and the remainder go into primary care.

Some highlights of the program include:

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  • Pathway Program: residents may choose an area of distinction in research, ultrasound, clinical teaching, health justice, or health systems leadership

  • Academic Half Day didactics, which provide interactive, experiential learning in evidence-based medicine, clinical reasoning, bedside diagnosis, behavioral medicine, quality improvement, procedures/simulation medicine, ultrasound, and more

  • Ultrasound rotation and procedure training

  • 3 + 1 block schedule 

  • Exposure to a breadth of subspecialty rotations, including medicine consult, cardiology, GI, pulmonology, renal, neurology, infectious disease, hematology/oncology, endocrinology, rheumatology

  • Inpatient wards with a team cap of 17 patients, a 6-day call cycle, and an open ICU

  • No overnight call; dedicated night admitting and cross-cover residents provide night coverage

  • Home visit program in which residents visit recently-discharged patients to better understand of how macrosocial determinants of health have profound downstream effects on health and illness

  • MICU team with co-management of wards patients - optional MICU rotation at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco

  • Continuity adult medicine clinic with a team-based model during ambulatory weeks

  • Elective blocks—4 weeks per year in R2 and R3 years

  • Scholarly activity/research with mentorship and dissemination at regional and national meetings

  • Quality improvement curriculum and R2 small group projects

  • Innovative, dynamic, supportive faculty and program leadership

  • Annual Categorical Retreats

 

Whether you are bound for hospitalist medicine, primary care, or fellowship, our Categorical Residency Program will successfully prepare you to become a confident, well-rounded physician. 
 

Scott Lynch, MD and Andrea Lu, MD
Associate Program Directors of the Categorical & Preliminary Program

Email: slynch@alamedahealthsystem.org and andrealu@alamedahealthsystem.org

Sample Curricula

PGY-1

  • Wards: 17 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 12-13 weeks

  • MICU: 4 weeks 

  • Night Crosscover: 3 weeks

  • Pulmonology: 2 weeks

  • Gastroenterology: 2 weeks

  • Neurology: 1-2 weeks

  • Rheum-Endo-Geri: 1 week

  • Jeopardy: 4 weeks

  • Ultrasound: 2 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

PGY-2

  • Wards: 8 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 11 weeks

  • MICU: 4 weeks 

  • Night Admitting: 3 weeks

  • Swing Admitting: 3 weeks

  • Hem/Onc: 2 weeks

  • Renal: 2 weeks

  • Cardiology: 2 weeks

  • Jeopardy: 4 weeks

  • Pathway/Selective: 3 weeks

  • Elective: 4 weeks

  • Individualized Learning Plans: 3 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

PGY-3

  • Wards: 8 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 11 weeks

  • MICU: 4 weeks 

  • Night crosscover: 3 weeks

  • Primary Care Immersion: 3 weeks

  • Neurology: 2 weeks

  • Hematology/Oncology: 1-2 weeks

  • Medicine Consult: 2-3 weeks

  • Jeopardy: 5 weeks

  • Pathway/Selective: 3 weeks

  • Elective: 4 weeks

  • Individualized Learning Plans: 6 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

**Please note that these numbers are used as guidelines. Variability exists between schedules, and as such, numbers do not add up to 52 weeks.**

 
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Primary Care Program

Founded in 1982, Highland’s Primary Care Track was one of the first internal medicine programs in the United States to adopt an explicit focus on primary care. Medicine has changed a lot in the last 35 years, but we have never lost sight of our mission: to train excellent general internists who will bring evidence based, community responsive, socially just healthcare to vulnerable and underserved communities. 

 

Some of the highlights of the program include:

 

  • Primary Care Immersion Weeks: These weeks provide protected time for residents to engage in activities that improve essential primary care skills. This includes community outreach, hands on workshops, visiting community clinics, and attending conferences, just to name a few. Interns have 2 PCI weeks, while PGY 2’s and PGY 3’s have 4 weeks each year. 

  • Second Clinics: Second and third year residents select the outpatient clinic of their choice to have a 2 year longitudinal experience. The goal of second clinics is for residents to have more exposure and experiences in the area of outpatient medicine that they are most interested in. Past second clinic choices include our HIV clinic, Alameda Public Health, Women’s clinic, and Kaiser outpatient clinic.

  • Primary Care Track Cohort: All of our primary care residents are in the same clinic cohort. This means that once a month you’ll get to spend a week in clinic with your Primary Care co-residents, which provides plenty of opportunity for bonding, support, and mentorship. During these primary care weeks we also have scheduled primary care content, such as our PC Corner conference, PC Journal Club, and PC-specific content during Academic Half Day.

  • Home Visits: Primary Care residents have been at the heart of our Home Visits program since it was founded in 2016, which was paused during 2020 due to the pandemic, but has since resumed as of summer 2021.

  • Electives: During their second and third years, residents have 4 weeks of elective, for a total of two full months of protected elected time during their residency. Prior residents have used this elective time to do research, practice rural medicine, as well as travel oversees for global health experiences. 

  • Annual Retreat: The Primary Care Retreat has been held yearly for over 30 years and is a closely held PC tradition. It’s an important time where we get away from the hospital to debrief, bond, and have fun together. 

 

Our Primary Care residency track has an intern class of 5 and a total program size of 14. The smaller size of our track allows for a “family within a family” atmosphere where residents receive hands on and in depth mentorship and support as they make their journey toward providing excellent primary care to those who need it most. 

Palak Kumar, MD

Associate Program Director, Primary Care Track

Email: pakumar@alamedahealthsystem.org

Sample Curricula

PGY-1

  • Wards: 13 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 12-13 weeks

  • MICU: 3 weeks 

  • Night Crosscover: 3 weeks

  • Cardiology: 2 weeks

  • Infectious Disease: 1-2 weeks

  • Pulmonology: 2 weeks

  • Gastroenterology: 2 weeks

  • Neurology: 1-2 weeks

  • Renal: 0-1 week

  • Rheumatology: 1 week

  • ED: 2 weeks

  • Primary Care Immersion: 2 weeks

  • Jeopardy: 4 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

PGY-2

  • Wards: 5 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 11 weeks

  • MICU: 3 weeks 

  • Night Admitting: 3 weeks

  • Swing Admitting: 3 weeks

  • Cardiology: 2 weeks

  • Renal: 2 weeks

  • Hem/Onc: 2 weeks

  • Jeopardy: 4 weeks

  • Kaiser: 2 weeks

  • Primary Care Immersion: 4 weeks

  • Elective: 4 weeks

  • Individualized Learning Plans: 3 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

PGY-3

  • Wards: 5 weeks

  • Ambulatory: 11 weeks

  • MICU: 3 weeks 

  • Night Crosscover: 2 weeks

  • Neurology: 2 weeks

  • Medicine Consult: 2-3 weeks

  • Jeopardy: 5 weeks

  • Primary Care Immersion: 4 weeks

  • Pathway/Selective: 4 weeks

  • Elective: 4 weeks

  • Individualized Learning Plans: 6 weeks

  • PC Core rotation: 3-4 weeks

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

**Please note that these numbers are used as guidelines. Variability exists between schedules, and as such, numbers do not add up to 52 weeks.**

 
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Preliminary Program

Highland‘s environment is best described in AHS’s mission statement: Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All. Our focus goes beyond a desire of simply ‘helping others’ to a level of understanding that requires maturity, patience, insight and humility needed to apply our mission. Our Preliminary program has significant work and scheduling advantages compared to many preliminary medicine years (see below).

In addition to the the diversity the Bay Area provides, the community we serve offers a complex and challenging framework, rich with learning and practical experiences. We have an excellent house staff contract and a genuinely egalitarian atmosphere. Our preliminary residents regularly report feeling appreciated and fulfilled.

   
Finally, we want to provide you with the most straightforward information regarding your schedule to enable you to make informed decisions. Keep in mind there is some flexibility in our schedule. This includes two weeks of electives as well as a dedicated academic week for completing research or self study for professional development in your advanced program. The curriculum is reviewed each year to ensure that ACGME requirements are met for each advance program specialty as well as to innovate and incorporate feedback from prior preliminary interns.
 

Scott Lynch, MD and Andrea Lu, MD
Associate Program Directors of the Categorical & Preliminary Program

Email: slynch@alamedahealthsystem.org and andrealu@alamedahealthsystem.org

Sample Curriculum

  • Wards: 18 weeks 

  • MICU: 3-4 weeks (6 weeks for Anesthesia prelims)

  • Night Crosscover: 2 weeks

  • Cardiology: 3 weeks

  • Pulmonology: 2 weeks

  • Gastroenterology: 2 weeks

  • Infectious Disease: 0-2 weeks

  • Hem/Onc: 2 weeks

  • Renal: 2-3 weeks

  • ED: 4 weeks (for Anesthesia prelims only)

  • Jeopardy: 4 weeks 

  • Elective: 2 weeks

  • Protected Academic Week: 1 week

  • Vacation: 4 weeks

  • Tailored ambulatory experience: 2 weeks

Anesthesiology prelim interns have fewer weeks of specialty and wards than categorical interns because of their extra MICU and ED due to Anesthesia requirements. 

**Please note that these numbers are used as guidelines. Variability exists between schedules, and as such, numbers do not add up to 52 weeks.**