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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 ambulatory general internal medicine. The PC Track 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.  

Individualized Learning

The PC Track features close mentoring to help residents reach their unique goals and offers exposure to ambulatory medicine in a variety of clinical settings, which can be tailored to each residents’ area of interest. In addition to the planned curriculum, interns and residents in the PC Track are encouraged to identify individual learning objectives and pursue their individual clinical interests during their block rotations. 

    Intern Year (PGY1): 

    The HO-1 year is very similar to the categorical intern schedule, which is transitioning to an X+Y (3+1) schedule in 2018-19.  Similar to the Categorical interns, the PC Track interns are part of our ambulatory care curriculum through our continuity clinic sites and our Academic Half Day conference series.

    Residency (PGY2 and PGY3):

    After building a strong foundation in the intern year, the residents in the PC Track have increased exposure to ambulatory medicine compared to categorical residents. The PC Track residents follow the “4+4” schedule, during which they complete 11 inpatient rotations (including two ICU blocks), three inpatient consult rotations, and 7-8 ambulatory elective experiences. Of the elective experiences, the residents must complete five main ambulatory PC Track rotations (*denoted as PC in the sample schedule below). These include a community medicine month, two ambulatory core-internal medicine subspecialties (Pulmonary, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, etc.), and two other ambulatory rotations (Dermatology, Musculoskeletal, ENT, Allergy, etc.).


    PC HO2 schedule


    PC HO3 schedule

    Continuity Clinic Model:

    PC Track residents 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 (underserved patients) and the University Internal Medicine Clinic (community practice). By caring for patients at both sites, residents experience the breadth of primary care with exposure to a variety of patient populations. Upon completion of training, our residents are prepared to care for patients in any clinical settings.

    Other Features of the Primary Care Track:

    Strickland Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity to be paired with a Strickland Scholar mentor who helps residents reach their unique goals. The program additionally features a quarterly Journal Club at a local restaurant and provides protected time for attendance to the National Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) meeting annually. The spring 2018 meeting will be in Denver, CO.

    Primary Care Conferences. While open to all residents, the PC Track includes a monthly Primary Care Track Conference Series and a monthly Joint GIM/PC Track Conference. The Primary Care Conferences provide additional educational time focused on topics pertinent to general ambulatory medicine. The GIM/PC Conference provides an opportunity for second and third year residents to pair with a mentor and present on “bread and butter” topics faced in a Primary Care Clinic.

    “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 graduates now? 
    Recent graduates


    How to Apply

    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 Track, we recommend listing the Primary Care Track first and then listing the Categorical Program 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 ranking 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 Track, please feel free to contact:

    Denizard-Thompson Nancy Marie

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



    Quick Reference

    Internal Medicine Residency
    Heather Yates
    Residency Program Administrator

    Residency Office

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