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How does the Primary Care Track differ from the traditional residency training program?

Primary Care Track residents participate in a six-month ambulatory long block, which includes additional clinic sessions and dedicated curriculum and electives.  During the PGY2 and PGY3 years, a second continuity clinic is added at a site based on the individual resident's interests.  Primary Care Track residents also participate in the bimonthly Primary Care Seminar and are invited to quarterly Primary Care Interest Groups and Social Events.  In addition, they receive regular mentorship and career counseling.  Primary Care Track residents have approximately the same number of general medicine inpatient rotations as their categorical program colleagues but one fewer intensive care unit rotations each year.

How does the HIV Primary Care Track differ from the traditional residency training program?

HIV Primary Care Track residents have their main continuity clinic during all three years of training at Fenway Health, which provides care for a large number of LGBT and HIV-infected patients.  In addition, they receive a specially designed curriculum that covers the primary care of these patient populations.  During the PGY2 and PGY3 years, a second continuity clinic is added at a site based on the resident’s interests.  HIV Primary Care Track residents also participate in the bimonthly Primary Care Seminar and are invited to quarterly Primary Care Interest Groups and Social Events.  In addition, they receive regular mentorship and career counseling.  HIV Primary Care Track residents do not participate in the ambulatory long block.

How do I apply for a position in the Primary Care Track or HIV Primary Care Track?

There is a separate match for both of these tracks, but we encourage all applicants who are interested in BIDMC to also apply to the categorical program.  We plan to match 4 Primary Care Track and 4 HIV Primary Care Track residents annually.  Up to 2 additional Primary Care Track slot will be made available for interns who are in the categorical program, but there is no guarantee of placement.  Only residents who match for the HIV Primary Care Track will be able to participate in this program. 

How many residents in the Primary Care Track enter careers in primary care medicine? 

Historically, approximately 70% of the Primary Care Track's graduates have entered primary care careers.  We anticipate that this percentage will increase with the adoption of a separate match.  Of those who choose to pursue specialty fellowships, many practice a mix of subspecialty and general medicine.

What types of jobs do people have after training?

Primary Care Track residents pursue positions that include clinical, educational, administrative, and research roles.  Many, but not all, choose to join academic practices. Our graduates are currently on the faculty at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, Yale University, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Alabama, UCSF, and UCLA.  Other graduates work in community health centers or private practice settings.

What if I choose to do a fellowship?

While the Primary Care Track is designed to prepare residents for careers in primary care, some of our graduates have pursued specialty training in allergy, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, oncology, and pulmonary medicine.  Primary Care Track residents are equally competitive in fellowship matches compared to categorical program residents.

I am interested in underserved populations.  What opportunities exist?

Historically, Beth Israel Hospital was founded in order to provide care to underserved populations in Boston.  Healthcare Associates, our hospital-based practice, cares for a wide variety of patients.  Approximately 20% of housestaff patients are indigent.  Several of our faculty are interested in health disparities and cross-cultural medicine.  Residents may also work in continuity clinics or ambulatory block rotations in a range of community health centers.  An elective in the Indian Health Service is available for those who would like experience in the US providing care in relatively resource-poor and remote settings.

I am interested in women's health.  What opportunities exist?

The women's health practice within Healthcare Associates (HCA) opened in 2004 and is a model teaching practice.  As an added service, consultations focused on female sexual dysfunction, obesity, and disabled women are available within the practice.  There is additional expertise and interest in women's health amongst HCA faculty based throughout the larger practice.  Several other second continuity options focus on women's health.  We have affiliations with student health centers in Boston and with female physicians in local practices.  Women's health is an important component of the ambulatory curriculum.  We offer elective experiences in gynecology, bone and mineral metabolism, breast diseases, gynecology, and urology.  We also have an affiliation with Planned Parenthood.

I am interested in Latino health.  What opportunities exist?

We have several Latino faculty who receive many referrals and can direct patients into practices of interested residents.  Residents may work with these preceptors for the entirety of their training.  Many of these faculty are also interested more generally in cross-cultural medicine.  Two affiliated continuity practice sites (Dimock Community Health Center and Medical Care Center North in Chelsea) have substantial Latino populations.

I am interested in international health.  What opportunities exist?

Many of our residents work in international settings, and BIDMC has established an affiliation with a teaching hospital in Botswana. (Global Health Program)  Other residents have worked in India, Nepal, Taiwan, and Vietnam in recent years.  Several faculty have major commitments to international health.  

I am interested in HIV medicine.  What opportunities exist?

Applicants who are interested in the care of HIV-infected patients in the primary care setting are strongly encouraged to apply to our HIV Primary Care Track. (HIV Primary Care Track)

Is it possible to learn how to teach as a Primary Care Track resident?

Primary Care Track residents will have lectures on teaching adults learners as part of their ambulatory long block rotation.  All housestaff are given the chance to serve as a teaching resident during PGY3 elective time.  In this role, residents lead case-based discussions and didactic sessions for other residents and students, work as apprentice preceptors alongside our faculty in practice, and observe interns in practice and provide feedback on those skills.  Residents may also choose to serve as primary chief resident at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center, during which they lead ambulatory resident reports, precept residents in clinic, and see patients in urgent care.  Finally, residents may select a project to do during their PGY3 year on an aspect of curriculum development or education research.

Is it possible to do research as a Primary Care Track resident?

Many of our residents participate in research during their training.  There have been projects in health services research, clinical epidemiology, medical education, and clinical research.  Areas of research interest within the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care include chronic disease management, delirium, geriatrics, health policy, HIV, and obesity.


Contact Information

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