Program Structure and Curriculum

Primary Care Track


Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency

Purpose and Program Characteristics:

The Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program at Wake Forest University was established in 1986. The program is committed to training experts in the practice of general internal medicine.  The Primary Care Program accomplishes this goal through increased training in outpatient general medicine while maintaining a solid foundation in inpatient and subspecialty medicine.  About 60% of the graduates of this program enter careers in general internal medicine as office-based physicians, hospitalists, or academic faculty members.  Other graduates continue their training in subspecialty fellowships.

Individualized Learning 

The Primary Care Program features close mentoring to help residents reach their unique goals.  In addition to the planned curriculum, interns and residents in the Primary Care Program are encouraged to identify individual learning objectives and pursue special topics (e.g. health services research, studying decision analysis, or examining health policy questions) during their block rotations.

There are many opportunities for learning outpatient medicine including: an intern ambulatory elective block, rotations in the acute care clinics, geriatrics rotations, ambulatory electives, and rotations in community-based general internal medicine practices.  Woven throughout these rotations are ambulatory experiences in core non-medical specialties such as ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology and orthopedics. Outpatient conferences include the General Internal Medicine Conference, "Clinic Minute", Primary Care Seminar Series, Primary Care Journal Club, Joint Primary Care Conference and General Internal Medicine Conference, and informal lectures from other primary care and subspecialty care attendings.

Regular feedback on each resident's performance is provided to facilitate understanding of clinical strengths and weaknesses.  Primary Care residents are also actively involved in evaluating their program.  Through this feedback, residents are able to introduce changes into their learning experience.

Outpatient Medicine Training Sites:

University Internal Medicine:

All Primary Care track residents will have their continuity clinic at University Internal Medicine at Country Club Road which is a premiere Wake Forest University Baptist Health affiliated private practice.  Residents will work one on one with a faculty preceptor and mentor to develop skills in chronic disease management and preventive medicine.  Residents are members of a multidisciplinary health care team, working with physician assistants, case managers, patient educators, visiting home nurses, and other professionals who support the internist in providing excellent patient care.

Downtown Health Plaza and Outpatient Department Medicine Clinic:   

Residents throughout training will have exposure to underserved patients at Downtown Health Plaza  and Outpatient Department  through  two acute care rotations and elective rotations.   The Downtown Health Plaza is a certified NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home practice.  They will learn about treatment of urgent care and also learn about transitions of care through Emergency follow up and Hospital Follow up appointments.

Veterans Administration Clinic:

The first and third year residents do a one month ambulatory rotation at the Veterans Administration Clinic in Kernersville, NC which is about 20 minutes away.  This rotation exposes them to chronic disease management, veteran specific medical conditions, and primary care in a different setting.

Subspecialty Clinics:  

Residents have the opportunity to do elective rotations in the Wake Forest Baptist Health subspecialty clinics as well as community practices in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro area.  

Behavioral Medicine and Professionalism: 

The program's curriculum emphasizes interviewing skills, psychosocial aspects of patient care, support groups for residents, work with Hospice to understand the needs of dying patients, medical ethics, leadership/management skills, and the use of community resources to improve health outcomes.  Education in these areas helps each resident master the complex interpersonal issues which lie at the heart of excellence in primary care.

Inpatient Training:

The majority of inpatient training and subspecialty training is at the 1,187 bed Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, the major teaching hospital for the Wake Forest School of Medicine. 


Four medical students are competitively accepted into the three-year program through the National Residency Matching Program (#153717).  All training is coordinated by Dr. Nancy Denizard-Thompson and Dr. Hal Atkinson.  There is close interaction between Primary Care and Categorical residents in our residency program, and we encourage most applicants to apply to both tracks.

If you have additional questions about the Primary Care Residency Program please feel free to contact:

Nancy M. Denizard-Thompson, MD, FACP 
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Program Director
Director of Primary Care Track

Quick Reference

Internal Medicine Residency
Betsy Pike
Residency Coordinator

Residency Office

Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Blvd
Watlington Hall, 3rd Floor
Winston-Salem, NC  27157
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Last Updated: 07-29-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.