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Primary Care Track

For medical residents who are interested in a career in primary care, we offer the Primary Care Track, which provides exciting and innovative opportunities for clinical training in outpatient medicine.  Its centerpiece is the ambulatory long block, which is a six-month intensive experience during the PGY2 and PGY3 years.

Our primary care program, which is over 40 years old, was one of the first in the country.  Over the past decade, we have graduated 120 primary care residents, many of whom have become leaders in clinical medicine, education, and research. 


The mission of our Primary Care Track is to train outstanding general internists who will provide future leadership as clinicians, educators, practice and quality innovators, and/or researchers in this evolving field.

What Makes Our Program Distinctive

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has received two substantial grants that support innovation and leadership training in primary care: 

  • $2 million from the Center for Primary Care at Harvard Medical School through their Academic Innovations Collaborative to transform our ambulatory teaching practice into a patient-centered medical home
  • $8 million from the Linde Family Foundation to teach primary care leadership and management skills to medical residents and fellows

Through these grants, Primary Care Track residents will have the opportunity to become integral members of the team involved in practice redesign and to participate in seminars and mentored projects to enhance their leadership and management skills.

Primary Training Site

Healthcare Associates (HCA), our hospital-based teaching practice, is located in the Shapiro Clinical Center on the BIDMC East Campus.  It is currently being transformed into a patient-centered medical home, and Primary Care Track residents are directly involved in the design and rollout of our new practice.  Over 50 clinician educator faculty practice alongside residents and serve as their preceptors.  Our faculty have expertise in chronic disease management, geriatrics, women’s health, minority health, student health, HIV medicine, addiction medicine, health policy, health services research, and preventive medicine.  Physicians work closely with nurse practitioners, clinical nurses, mental health therapists, and community resource specialists to provide multidisciplinary care. 

While many Primary Care Track residents choose Healthcare Associates for their primary training site, residents with specific interest in community health, LGBT health, veterans care, and private practice have the opportunity to select another clinic from the list on the continuity clinic page of our website.


Primary Care Track residents receive a supplementary curriculum, in addition to the standard internal medicine ambulatory curriculum, focusing on special issues unique to the field of primary care.  Examples of topics covered include the periodic health exam, medication adherence, patient disability, mental health issues, palliative care, complementary/alternative medicine, quality improvement (QI), practice redesign, and travel medicine.  This supplementary curriculum also provides teaching about delivery of health care to specific populations including adolescents and geriatric patients. 

Structure of Program

Primary Care Track residents spend extended periods of time in ambulatory practice while still receiving rigorous training in inpatient medicine.  They are responsible for providing primary care for their outpatients in collaboration with other team members.

The basic structure of our program is as follows:

Year 1

Four week orientation to ambulatory care in HCA
Three 2-week ambulatory blocks spread throughout the rest of year
Once weekly continuity clinic at HCA or another site
Introduction of primary care curriculum

Year 2

Six month ambulatory long block (see below for sample schedule)
Weekly continuity clinic at HCA or another site during non-call block rotations
Second continuity clinic at an additional site
Continuation of primary care curriculum

Year 3

Six month ambulatory long block (see below for sample schedule)
Weekly continuity clinic at HCA or another site during non-call block rotations
Second continuity clinic at an additional site
Continuation of primary care curriculum

Other Distinguishing Features 

  • Participation in primary care innovation and leadership initiatives
  • Bimonthly primary care seminars
  • Quarterly primary care interest group/social events
  • Society of General Internal Medicine annual meeting participation
  • Mentorship and career counseling
  • Development of scholarly project

Overview of the Ambulatory Long Block

Two 6-month blocks during PGY2 and PGY3 years
Approximately three half-day continuity clinics at HCA or another site per week
One-half day per week at second continuity clinic
Active participation in patient-centered medical home

  • Providing team leadership
  • Involvement in practice innovation

Standard Electives

  • Three half-day clinics per week
  • Examples include dermatology, endocrinology, and orthopedics

Chronic Disease Electives

  • Weekly half-day clinic lasting three months with assigned preceptor
  • Examples include chronic renal disease, congestive heart failure, and hepatitis C

Home visits once per month
Group clinic visits once per month
Preceptor in medical student clinic on monthly basis
Overnight HCA call and participation in Saturday episodic care clinic on monthly basis
Participation in a primary care practice redesign project
Participation in a longitudinal QI project
Participation in Linde leadership fellowship
Participation in one week community health elective
Primary care curriculum one half-day per week
Panel management one half-day per week

Sample One Month Schedule for Ambulatory Long Block

To view a sample ambulatory long block schedule, please click here

Our program offers the following benefits:

  • Additional ambulatory and continuity clinic time during residency training
  • Participation in Primary Care Reform Elective
  • Role in transformation of Healthcare Associates to a patient-centered medical home
  • Participation in QI projects through the Stoneman Center
  • Involvement in primary care leadership training
  • Priority access for electives focused on primary care medicine  (Ambulatory Electives)
  • Participation in Primary Care Seminar, Interest Groups, and Events  (Special Events and Support)
  • Support to present at the national Society of General Internal Medicine meeting  (Special Events and Support)
  • Enhanced mentorship and career counseling throughout residency training
  • Practicing with and learning from an established group of highly regarded primary care clinician educators (Division of General Medicine and Primary Care) 

How to Apply

We have established a separate match number for this program and will recruit 4 interns each year.  Applicants interested in the Primary Care Track should specify this program but are also strongly encouraged to apply for the BIDMC categorical program.  Invited applicants will meet with our primary care faculty and have the opportunity to participate in a half-day introduction to the Primary Care Track.  (Frequently Asked Questions)

For More Information 

Please contact Dr. Howard Libman, Director of Ambulatory Residency Training, by e-mail at or call him at 617-667-3001.  


Contact Information

Residency Training Program
Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
West Campus, Deaconess Building, Suite 306
One Deaconess Road
Boston, MA 02215