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Program Structure and Curriculum

Primary Care Track

2016 Team Quest Official Group Shot

 Purpose and Program Characteristics:

The Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program (PC Track) at Wake Forest University was established as a separate training program in 1986. The program is committed to training experts in the practice of general internal medicine. The Primary Care Program accomplishes this goal by combining the strengths of the categorical training program with increased training in ambulatory medicine. Thus, residents in the program have a strong foundation in inpatient medicine, subspecialty medicine and general internal medicine.  

Highlights of the Strickland Scholars Program

  • Mentorship-paired with a Strickland Scholar mentor who helps residents reach their unique goals.   
  • Networking-
    • Quarterly Journal club dinner events at a local restaurant with General Medicine faculty and Strickland Scholar mentors
    • Quarterly dinner socials at faculty homes  
  • Scholarship-
    • Interns will be provided with protected time and funding support to attend the National Society of General Medicine (SGIM) meeting along with General Internal Medicine faculty.  Spring 2018 meeting will be in Denver, Colorado.
    • Mentored Clinical Vignette poster presentation at Internal Medicine Research Day in the spring of intern year
    • Opportunities to submit/present vignettes or research at regional or national meetings in subsequent years

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.

Intern Year (PGY1): 

The PGY-1 year is very similar to the categorical intern schedule with 13 four-week blocks.  There are four non-ward blocks during the intern year. Similarly to the categorical track interns,  the PC Track interns are part of our ambulatory care curriculum that run through our continuity clinic sites and our Academic Half-Day conference series. 

PC Intern schedule

Residency (PGY2 and PGY3):

After getting a strong foundation in the intern year, the major differences in the PC Track occur during the second and third year of residency training. During this time, the residents in the PC Track have more exposure to ambulatory medicine. The PC Track residents follow a similar pattern as the categorical residents with ward followed by non-ward.  They complete on average 11 inpatient rotations and 3 inpatient consult rotations. However, in the PC Track the residents have five main ambulatory PC Track requirements to complete as well. 


PC HO2 schedule


PC HO3 schedule

The PC Track residents have a wide variety of ambulatory experiences that they can choose as they craft a curriculum that will meet their educational needs. Where you see PC* in the schedule these are the rotation options. They do one community medicine month, two ambulatory consult months in subspecialty core medicine rotations, and two additional ambulatory experiences. This complements their inpatient ward rotations and inpatient consult rotations. 

PC Ambulatory Options

Continuity Clinic Model:

The PC Track residents have a slightly different continuity clinic model than the categorical residents. They rotate through two different clinic sites during their training to get a broad exposure to the practice of outpatient general internal medicine. The two clinic sites are the Downtown Health Plaza Clinic and the University Internal Medicine Clinic.  

PC DHP cilnic photoThe Downtown Health Plaza is certified NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home Practice and serves an underserved patient population. The clinic site has an excellent nursing staff and additional services such as a clinical pharmacist, pharmacy, onsite laboratory/radiology and behavioral health specialists. The clinic uses the EPIC Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, which coordinates with the hospital EMR and other local hospitals in the area. This clinic site allows residents to care for and manage a patient panel with support of energetic and knowledgeable faculty preceptors. Residents are paired with a practice partner in the PC Track that helps them manage their in-basket and paperwork when they are not in clinic on their ward rotations. 

PC UIMA at Country ClubThe second practice site is the University Internal Medicine at Country Club Road Practice, 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. 

By caring for patients at both sites, they really see the breadth of primary care and it gives them exposure to all patient populations so when they leave our program they are prepared to see patients in different clinical settings.

Intern Year: 

In the intern year, both categorical and PC Track interns have a fixed half-day of clinic. In the PC Track, the interns will have two to three clinics per block at the Downtown Health Plaza and will be introduced with one clinic per block to their secondary clinic site—the University Internal Medicine at Country Club Road Practice.

Second and Third Year:

During their non-ward blocks, the residents will have a fixed half-day of their continuity practice at Downtown Health Plaza and a fixed half-day at the University Internal Medicine at Country Club Road Practice. The residents will have the same faculty mentor/preceptor at University Internal Medicine at Country Club for all three years to strengthen and build the one-to-one mentoring relationship.

PC Continuity Clinic Model

Seminars and Didactics:

The PC Track residents attend all the same conferences offered to the categorical residents; however, there are a few conferences that have been developed specifically for the PC Track residents.

Monthly Primary Care Track Conference Series: This conference traditionally occurs the first Friday of every month. The focus of the conference is to present topics helpful to someone practicing ambulatory medicine. Therefore, many subspecialist speakers are asked to speak on topics that would be helpful to a primary care physician. Past conference topics have included: “Care of ICU survivors in the Clinic,” “Smoking Cessation Counseling,” “The Dizzy Patient,” or “Headache Management.”  In addition, clinical pharmacist will speak to the group about medication management while other conferences focus on the business of medicine or career planning.

Joint General Internal Medicine/PC Track Conference: This conference typically occurs the third Wednesday of every month and is part of the General Internal Medicine Faculty Conference Series. In this conference, PC Track residents co-present with a General Internal Medicine faculty member on bread and butter issues that are typically seen in the clinic. They pick a case that one would see in clinic and discuss three to four clinical questions searching the literature for evidence based practices. It is a rich discussion of physicians from different practice sites and a great learning opportunity for the residents.

Quarterly Journal Club: This is an evening session, which occurs once per quarter and brings together the residents and providers from the University Internal Medicine practice to discuss issues that are faced by Primary Care providers in the community. Topics such as communication skills, job search, agenda setting, and personal finance are addressed at this unique conference.

How to Apply

Please see the section entitled Application Information and Housestaff Benefits for general information on how to apply to the Wake Forest Internal Medicine Residency Program. Four medical students are competitively accepted into the three-year program through the National Residency Matching Program (#153717). If you are enthusiastic about the Primary Care Program, we recommend listing the Primary Care Program first and then listing the Categorical Programs as your second choice in our program. If you are considering but not committed to General Internal Medicine, we recommend ranking the Categorical Program above Primary Care, but still rank both programs. We understand it is difficult at this stage to fully know your final career pathway, but you will be well prepared in the Primary Care Track. 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.

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:

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

“What do residents say about the program?”

Michael Tucker
“I entered residency with the goal of pursuing a career in primary care, which is why I selected the primary care track here at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The Primary Care Track allows you to work alongside primary care providers in multiple settings, ranging from the typical private practice setting to serving the underserved and impoverished population. This allows you to experience the breadth of primary care while also getting extra instruction and training on the business side of medicine. This has been an excellent experience and I would recommend this track to anyone considering a career in General Internal Medicine.“ ~Michael Tucker

Hugh Dowlen
“I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities afforded by the Primary Care Track for longitudinal mentorship by faculty who see patients in a community type outpatient clinic as well as in both the inpatient and outpatient setting of an academic medical center. For me, this is the best of both worlds. I see a huge variety of pathology in several different patient populations and receive unparalleled exposure in clinical training across the broad array of Internal Medicine.
Conferences in salient topics across the spectrum of primary care are also held regularly for the edification of residents and faculty alike, from hand-picked lectures delivered by specialists to talks given by General Internal Medicine faculty and IM co-residents.
I also appreciate the extra electives available from both Internal Medicine based and other topics to enhance my clinical acumen as a general internist.” ~Hugh Dowlen

Where are our applicants now:

PC where are they now


Quick Reference

Internal Medicine Residency
Heather Yates
Residency Program Administrator

Residency Office

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