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Internal Medicine Oakland

Personalize Your Residency

Welcome from our Program Director

Congratulations to Paniz Vafaei MD: 1st Place National ACP Poster Winner!

Our Philosophy & Mission

Our mission is to prepare residents for careers aimed at improving the health of all patients in our community:

  • Individualize your residency experience to meet your unique passions via dedicated mentor relationships and through individually tailored residency schedules
  • Develop skills to improve the health of both the individual patient as well as of the greater community. If you are passionate about population and preventive health, you can seek additional training through the Combined IM/MPH track.
  • Prepare you to provide the same high-quality of care to patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, beliefs, sexual orientation, education, and socioeconomic level. Residents passionate about eliminating disparities in health care may be interested in applying to our Health Equity & Disparities track.

City of Oakland has been highlighted in the New York Times “Oakland is its own town, and its cultural heterogeneity remains its greatest strength.”

Read our annual newsletter here

Our intern class includes:

Program Highlights

The Oakland Kaiser Internal Medicine Residency offers flexibility over your three years with ample elective time to pursue your personal career goals.

We are an academic community program founded over 70 years ago—the first Kaiser Residency Program in the country! A busy teaching hospital noted for clinical excellence, caring for an extremely diverse patient population in a supportive and friendly environment. You will be well prepared for fellowship training, and careers in hospital medicine, primary care, academic medicine or public health. You will love living in the center of the vibrant Bay Area with easy access to San Francisco, Napa Wine Country, Berkeley, and only a few hours from Lake Tahoe.

    • Fellowship Match success: Since 2015, all but one Kaiser Oakland resident have matched into their 1st or 2nd choice program for fellowships at competitive programs across the country.
    • Fellowship programs: in conjunction with our Kaiser Northern California residencies, we launched fellowships in GI, Oncology, Community Health, Patient Safety, and Addiction Medicine, and will soon be adding Pulmonary-Critical Care and HIV.
    • ABIM Board Success: >98% of graduates pass the ABIM exam on their first attempt (as compared to national averages of 88-92%), and the Program Director edits the First Aid for the Internal Medicine Exam Board Review book!
    • Scholarly achievements: Our 3-year programs in research and QI have led to numerous presentations and awards for Kaiser Oakland residents at local and national conferences. Check out our list of recent publications, presentations, and awards in research and QI!
    • Distinction in Medical Education KORE pathway
    • Medical Student teaching: over 60 medical students rotate with us annually, and Kaiser Oakland is the first site UCSF added when the decisions were made to expand the Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum (LIC) model and required sub-internship rotations. Our program affiliations include:
      • UC San Francisco School of Medicine and the UCSF KLIC Program
      • UC Berkeley School of Public Health
      • UCSF/UCB Joint Medical Program
      • Drexel Medical School

FordOlivia Kizzee, Finalist ACP Vignette Competition
FordOlivia Kizzee, Finalist ACP Vignette Competition

Representin’! Kaiser Oakland IM Residents at the ACP Conference
Representin’! Kaiser Oakland IM Residents at the ACP Conference

Oakland is the second most ethnically diverse city in the US. In 2015, Kaiser Permanente is rated by DiversityInc as one of the “Top 50 Companies for Diversity”, and our patient population reflects this wonderful socioeconomic and ethnic diversity.  Over 150 languages are spoken within our city limits. We have a very diverse case mix including Medicare/Medicaid patients and patients with Covered California (our ACA insurance), as well as care of the uninsured. It is our goal to promote equity in health care for all individuals, and to eliminate disparities in health outcomes. We are proud of the 2014 New England Journal of Medicine publication authored by investigators from Harvard and Michigan which demonstrated that Kaiser Northern California—but no other health plan– was able to eliminate disparities between blacks and whites in control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes by 2011. [Ayanian JZ et al. NEJM 2014; 371: 2288-2297.]

In the Oakland IM Residency program, we firmly believe that diversity is excellence and we are committed to recruiting and training residents who share this mission. Read elsewhere on website about the Medical Student Diversity Scholarships available for qualified subinterns.


Community engagement is the reason we launched the IM Residency track in Health Equity & Disparities. Examples of community-based clinics and experiences all of our residents can choose:

  • Community clinics such as Lifelong Medical (a FQHC), La Clinical de la Raza, Asian Health Services, The Malta Clinic (for uninsured or underinsured patients), Oasis Clinic and San Quentin (Care of the Incarcerated)
  • Endocrinology at San Francisco General Hospital
  • Volunteer days at community fairs/projects supported by Kaiser
  • Pipeline mentoring with local schools and through SNMA
  • Funded International medical rotations
  • On-site Farmer’s Market (Kaiser Oakland was the first U.S. hospital to have an on-site farmer’s market featuring food grown by local farmers)

We believe that the best physicians are the happiest and most balanced physicians. We achieve work-life balance for our residents through our comprehensive residency Wellness Program, led by a dedicated Assistant Program Director:

  • Balanced schedules: Our “2+2” schedule includes one weekend day off EACH WEEK on Ward Medicine rotations
  • Twice per year residents may schedule a Wellness Half-Day to attend to personal needs (dentist, doctor visits, optometry, etc.)
  • Stipends earmarked specifically for local fitness center memberships, to the tune of $720 annually!
  • Annual retreats for each class
  • Resiliency small group sessions: facilitated debriefing on the challenges residents face (staying connected to family; handling grief and death; ways to prevent burnout, etc)
  • Confidential wellness check-ins with mental health counselors
  • Regular Wellness activities: ranging from potlucks to pancake breakfasts, Warriors and A’s outings, hikes, dog-walking, wine tastings, happy hours, and our co-ed soccer team
  • Women in Medicine gatherings led by faculty and residents, ranging from career advice sessions to informal book clubs and wine tastings to formal research presentations through the American Medical Women’s Association
  • Ask us about our Resident Wellness Passport!

As the world we live in becomes “smaller” – there are an increasing number of career opportunities in international health. In addition to working with programs that Kaiser Permanente has a strong affiliation with such as the Matibabu Clinic in Kenya and The University Teaching Hospital in Zambia, numerous opportunities exist to tailor international experiences to your interests. Our residents have recently rotated in places as varied as Vietnam, South Korea, Columbia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and China. You will have the opportunity to learn and teach fellow residents and faculty about various Global Health issues including, but not limited to, providing health care in low resource settings, the different disease burden outside of the developed world as well as how globalization affects health. Funding is available for international rotations.

Residents with a deep interest in Global Health or a desire to conduct scholarly projects abroad will work with Dr. Somalee Banerjee, MD, MPH, a former graduate of the KP Oakland IM Residency who has extensive experience in academic global health. In addition to her clinical duties as a Kaiser Oakland Hospitalist, Dr. Banerjee is the Senior Research Fellow at Neerman, a public health/health systems research firm in India. A formal global health curriculum based in global ethics and comparative health systems study will form the basis of a global health certificate for residents in the Global Health Path.

Read about one resident’s journey here.

Kaiser Oakland faculty presented the first-of-its-kind curriculum in Bedside Ultrasound for Internal Medicine trainees at the National Conference of the Program Directors of Internal Medicine meeting in 2011, and BUS training continues to be a foundation of our program. Assistant Program Director Dr. Ingraham was a faculty lead at the National ACP Course on Point-of-Care U/S for Internists in 2018.

During new intern orientation, all interns are trained on the use of handheld U/S and the larger U/S on wheels on “live” patient actors. All ward teams have a handheld U/S, and access to larger machines on wards, in the ED, and in ICU. In addition,  our Primary Care APDs and ED faculty will teach residents to use U/S to perform evaluations of retinal, tympanic membranes, thyroid, knees, foot, hands, shoulder, spine and hips etc.

Residents seeking additional proficiency can pursue the Advanced U/S elective with our dedicated BUS faculty—a great way to enhance your experience and prepare you for a career as a Hospitalist, a procedure-based specialist, or Outpatient Medicine.

In addition to ultrasound, Kaiser Oakland residents will receive hi-fidelity training using the Sim-Man 3G machine to practice running codes, rapid responses, sepsis and stroke alerts, and critical event training.  During orientation and interspersed during residency, interns will use simulation mannequins to solidify their procedural skills for paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, and central venous catheter placements

The Bay Area really does have it all! And our flexible schedule allows plenty of time to explore:

  • Oakland possesses the unique mix of vibrant urban lifestyle with quick access to nature.  Foodies will love the Michelin-star restaurants, explosion of craft breweries, quick access to Napa wineries and Tahoe skiing. Night life boasts a vibrant music and club scene, and outdoors enthusiasts in the residency regularly take advantage of over 100 miles of East Bay trails for hiking, biking, and ultra-running just a couple of miles from the medical center.
  • And don’t forget about the professional and recreational sports teams—including the 2015, 2017 and 2018 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors!!

Kaiser has long been a leader in the use of medical technology and our 100% fully integrated electronic medical record is the envy of programs nationwide! Our patient centered system allows for easy, efficient, comprehensive, and high-quality care. For example, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the death rate from heart disease among the Northern California Kaiser members is 30 percent lower than the rest of the Northern California population, adjusted for age, and gender, socioeconomic status, etc.

Residents at Kaiser Oakland will practice in new clinics and hospital buildings featuring the latest advances in technology, private rooms for patients, and individual iPhones for residents which are fully loaded with a HIPAA-protected EMR.  Come find out why President Obama sent a team to Kaiser Oakland to learn about the Kaiser model prior to designing The Affordable Care Act!

To promote our Medical Center’s mission to enhance diversity and to help to defray the costs of housing, airfare, and other expenses, Kaiser Oakland offers scholarships of up to $2,000 to senior medical students wishing to pursue fourth year rotations in internal medicine at our campus. Recipients are selected based on their record of promoting diversity and inclusion. More information can be found on our medical student rotation page or applications can contact our Student Programs Coordinator, Lyn Espinosa for more information and for the brief application at:

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