Primary Care Track
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.
- Quarterly Journal club dinner events at a local restaurant with
General Medicine faculty and Strickland Scholar mentors
- Quarterly dinner socials at faculty homes
- 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.
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.
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.
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
The 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
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Please see the section entitled
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:
Nancy M. Denizard-Thompson,
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Program Director
Director of Primary Care Track
“What do residents say about the
“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
“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
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: