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Internal Medicine/Masters of Public Health at Oakland

Kaiser Permanente, Internal Medicine Residency Program, Oakland
University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health

School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley

The Kaiser Permanente Oakland Internal Medicine Residency Program offers a combined Internal Medicine/Masters of Public Health (IM/MPH) track, in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health (UC Berkeley).  This innovative program supports in-depth pursuit of career tracks in hospital medicine, primary care, and medical specialties with a focus on public health and policy, leadership, education, and research.  Kaiser Permanente provides the unique opportunity to study patient populations in a world-class health care delivery system with a rich, longitudinal health data repository. Residents complete internal medicine requirements in the first three years of training at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, with an emphasis on research, epidemiologic methods, and scholarly work in collaboration with mentors at Kaiser Permanente Oakland and the  KP Division of Research in preparation for the PGY-4 MPH year at UC Berkeley. The fourth year is an academic year at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health where IM/MPH residents will complete an 11-month interdisciplinary Masters in Public Health program. Full salary support is provided at the PGY-4 level plus paid tuition for the MPH degree. This unprecedented opportunity to receive an extra postgraduate year of training along with formal public health education (and an MPH degree) has enabled residents to receive additional mentorship and the opportunity to accelerate into a broad range of career paths. The IM/MPH track at KP Oakland is directed by Dr. Joan Lo, Assistant Program Director for the IM Residency at KP Oakland.

Our IM/MPH residents look forward to careers in:

  • Public Health and Policy
  • Academic Medicine (faculty-track careers)
  • Primary Care, Hospitalist Medicine or Community Health Leadership
  • Graduate Medical Education
  • Global and International Health
  • Clinical and Epidemiologic Research

Please see The UC Berkeley School of Public Health Interdisciplinary MPH Program for more information, including the Interdisciplinary MPH Student Handbook and Newsletter.

A publication and video abstract about our IM MPH program can be found here:
INNOVATIVE partnerships to advance public health training in community-based academic residency programs (Lo JC, Baudendistel TE, Dandekar A, Le PV, Siu S, Blumberg B)

Read News From Our Graduates to hear about the impact of the IM-MPH training program on their career paths.

IM/MPH residents
IM/MPH residents

IM/MPH Track Objectives

  • To increase the resident’s knowledge and competence in the applications of public health core competencies in biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy, and management; and to develop an in-depth understanding of the interaction of environmental factors and social behavior on health outcomes.
  • To expand the resident’s knowledge and skills beyond diagnosis and treatment of individuals to encompass community assessment and the design and evaluation of population-based interventions.
  • To enhance the resident’s skills in health promotion, chronic disease management, delivery science, injury prevention, and disaster preparedness.

National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Code: 1042140C1

Residents interested in both the IM/MPH and Categorical IM tracks at KP Oakland should know that these programs have unique NRMP code numbers and are separately matched programs.

Residents at the State Capitol during their Health Policy Elective

Juergens N, Wei J, Cullen E, Graubard M, Gupta VK, Weintraub MR, Sax D, MD.  Downstream Acute Care Utilization Following Initial Prescription of an Opioid Pain Reliever Among Emergency Department Patients with Low-Severity Conditions. Perm J 2022 Apr;26(1):47-56

Haysbert DB, Lo JC, Ramalingam ND, Gordon NP. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among Middle-aged and Older Adult Vietnamese American Members of a Northern California Health Plan. Public Health Rep. 2022. Feb 20;333549221076543

Li CF, Ettinger B, Chandra M, Lo JC. Vitamin D status among older women initiating osteoporosis therapy. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019; 67(10):2207-2208

Santo EC, Vo MT, Uratsu CS, Grant RW. Patient-Defined Visit Priorities in Primary Care: Psychosocial Versus Medically-Related Concerns. J Am Board Fam Med. 2019 Jul-Aug;32(4):513-520. PMID: 31300571

Banerjee S, Kim E, Parker MM, Gilliam LK, Dlott R, Adams A.
Clinical Response to Real-Time Patient-Reported Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms. Perm J. 2019;23. PMID: 31050645

Liu LH, Fevrier HB, Goldfien R, Hemmerling A, Herrinton LJ. Understanding Nonadherence with Hydroxychloroquine Therapy in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. J Rheumatol. 2019 Feb [epub ahead of print]. PMID: 30709949

Juergens N, Ettinger B, Hui R, Chandra M, Lo JC. Secular Trends in Long-Term Oral Bisphosphonate Use. J Gen Intern Med. 2019 Apr 22. Epub ahead of print PMID: 31011979

  • Outstanding Abstract Award, 2022 Endocrine Society Meeting (Chelsea Yin)
  • Clinical Research Award, East Bay Academy of Medical Educators 2022 Research Symposium (Chelsea Yin)
  • Society of General Internal Medicine 2022 National Young Scholars in GIM Scholarship (Chelsea Yin)
  • National Minority Quality Forum 2022 ‘40 Under 40’ Leaders in Minority Health Award (Joy Liu)
  • 2022 Irvin David Yalom, M.D. Literary Award, The Pegasus Physician Writers at Stanford (Joy Liu)
  • First Place 2021 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Jimmy Yao)
  • Second Place 2021 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Chelsea Yin)
  • Second Place 2021 Northern California ACP Resident Quality Improvement Poster Competition (Donna Haysbert)
  • First Place, Trainee Research Poster Competition, 2019 American Geriatrics Society Meeting in Portland, OR (Christina Li)

IM/MPH Post-Graduate Careers

University of California San Francisco at Fresno
VA Palo Alto Health Care System / Stanford
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
VA Northern California Health Care System
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Highland Hospital – Alameda Health System
Kaiser Permanente/Permanente Medicine careers in Primary Care, Hospital Medicine, and Subspecialties (Oakland, Sacramento, San Leandro, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek)
FELLOWSHIPS: Geriatrics (Stanford, UCLA); Rheumatology (UCSF); Palliative Care (UC Davis); Cardiology (UC Davis); Academic Hospital Medicine (UCSF)

News from Our Graduates

Nathan Juergens, MD, MPH (2021), Academic Hospital Medicine Fellow, UCSF

“The interdisciplinary MPH year at UC Berkeley was a perfect conclusion to my Kaiser residency training. I was able to reflect on the reasons I got into health care, develop skills that were put aside during the intensity of medical residency, and spend time thinking about my future. I came out of the MPH year refreshed and more prepared for diverse career opportunities.”

-Nathan Juergens, MD, MPH 2021

 Esme Cullen, MD, MPH (2020), Associate Site Medical Director, Marin Community Clinics

“I feel so grateful for the training I received in my years as a Kaiser IM/MPH resident and the opportunity to work on big data projects as early as my first year in residency. The program encouraged me to focus on my passion for underserved populations and helped me understand how an integrated healthcare system improves quality of care. At UC Berkeley I was able to reflect on my medical training and career, focus in on the skills I need as a physician researcher and connect with colleagues in interdisciplinary fields. Now as an Associate Medical Director at a large FQHC, I use those skills every day. I remain close to my colleagues and mentors at Kaiser Permanente and continue to feel their support. The IM/MPH track is a truly unique program where you can develop your passion within and outside of medicine, grow as a physician in a supportive environment, and build a career that you truly love.”

-Esme Cullen, MD, MPH 2020

Stutee Khandelwal, MD, MPH (2014), Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Medicine

“The IM/MPH program was the perfect fit for my interests and career plans. Learning to practice medicine in an integrated health care system went hand in hand with learning about the drivers of population health. I reference KP Oakland frequently in my primary care practice. In addition, my colleagues look to me for expertise in public health nutrition, epidemiology, grant proposals and much more. My mentors from KP Oakland and UC Berkeley have been very kind in providing ongoing support and guidance. I am very thankful and lucky to have been part of such a unique program.”
-Stutee Khandelwal, MD, MPH (2014)

 Somalee Banerjee, MD, MPH (2017), Director of Global Health, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Internal Medicine Residency; Hospitalist, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center

“So many of the threads of my current career have their seeds in the year I spent in the interdisciplinary MPH program at UC Berkeley. I have always been someone who is energized by having variety in my work, and my time at UC Berkeley really helped nurture my journey of curiosity in public health and what health can mean to the work. All the work I do now 4 years later, I can trace back to a moment of change in that year. I joined the interdisciplinary class after my third year of internal medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente Oakland hoping to expand my horizons about what health could mean in my medical practice. I wanted to spend some time working in public health in India after my year at Berkeley. During my time there, connections through my professor in the impact evaluation course led to a full-time position as a research fellow doing impact evaluation and public health research consulting work in India the year after I graduated. Since then, I have continued to work part time (now remotely thanks to our shared pandemic daymare) with Neerman in India while working as a hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente Oakland. I support internal medicine residents interested in Global Health work as the Director of Global Health for the residency program and am part of the core residency leadership. I also do health systems research work with the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente, much of which stems out of the work from my final project for the MPH program. I was lucky to go into the MPH program with some ideas of what I wanted to learn because I was able to apply what I learned from each class in every part of my very diverse career. Some of the professors I met during my time at UC Berkeley, have now become lifelong friends and mentors. I trained as an artist during my undergrad years and fine art has always been a thread that ran parallel to medicine in my life. Now with the encouragement of mentors that I met during my time at UC Berkeley, I am working to combine my work in art, public health and medicine by developing art observation curricula for medicine and public health for medical learners across the country. The people I met at UC Berkeley and the space and encouragement they provided for me to grow is shaping who I am every day.”
-Somalee Banerjee, MD, MPH

Sowmya Srinivasan, MD, MPH (2014), Clinical Assistant Professor (Affiliated), Stanford University School of Medicine

“The IM/MPH track helped me develop my clinical skills and gain a broader understanding of our healthcare system. I use the skills I learned in my training every day in my combined career. I currently practice clinical medicine and work on health systems redesign for older adults.”
-Sowmya Srinivasan MD MPH (2014)

Benjamin Maring, MD, MPH (2015), Physician, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center

Featured in Kaiser Permanente Northern California: Healthier Eating with Ben Maring
Featured in the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health
“The combined IM-MPH residency training program at Kaiser Oakland should become the standard to which other graduate medical training programs are compared. Just think – learning the art of medicine in a vibrant, urban center while also studying more broadly the forces and policies that exist to shape a population’s health. I feel lucky to have been a part of this program, as I learned daily from my peers, attendings, specialists, nurses, ancillary staff, professors, and, most importantly, my patients. Health and wellness are created, primarily, in the community, and secondarily in the clinic or hospital setting. Thus, the combined study of IM and public health at Kaiser Oakland and UC Berkeley, respectively, prepare any trainee for a real-world practice of medicine and a lifetime of learning.”
-Benjamin Maring MD, MPH


In what way is the IM/MPH track different from the traditional categorical medicine track during the first 3 years of residency?

During their first 3 years, residents in the IM/MPH track will complete the same core requirements as the categorical residents to allow them to sit for the ABIM Board Exam upon completion of the 3-year residency. Residents also have the opportunity to complete a 2-week Kaiser Permanente elective in health policy prior to the 4th MPH year. During certain elective or subspecialty rotations, the IM/MPH residents will be able to complete the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research online training course in designing and implementing clinical research (beginning with how to develop a research question and then how to conduct statistical analysis) and be given opportunities for participating in research projects based at the Division of Research to “jump-start” their Public Health and epidemiology training. Additionally, IM/MPH residents will be introduced early on to faculty and mentors at the School of Public Health and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

In what way do the IM/MPH track and IM Health Equity & Disparities track differ?

If you are interested in in-depth training in social justice and in eliminating disparities in health care you should consider the IM/MPH or Health Equity & Disparities tracks. Both tracks have separate NRMP codes and it is not uncommon to apply to either (or both) of these tracks in addition to applying to the categorical program.

The IM/MPH track extends your training by a year so residents can obtain their MPH degree from UC Berkeley while still being fully supported and funded by Kaiser Permanente. In this track, you will gain epidemiologic research skills in a mentored setting, obtain an MPH, and use your elective time during residency and the MPH year to tailor their public health experiences to meet your unique career interests, whether it be public or global health, leadership, clinical practice in diverse settings, academic medicine, or fellowship.

The IM Health Equity & Disparities track is a three-year program in which residents spend over a third of their 3-year residency in community settings, truly experiencing the ‘best of both worlds’ clinical practices at Kaiser and in several FQHCs in the East Bay. As a Health Equity & Disparities resident, you will learn the intricacies of different systems of care delivery by managing longitudinal panels of patients at both Kaiser and at our community partner, Lifelong Medical, an FQHC in Oakland, and have unique access to rotations such as San Quentin Prison and La Clinica de la Raza. In this track, if you are interested in scholarly activity you will work with research mentors at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, including those whose research portfolio focuses on addressing health disparities. You will have dedicated mentoring by faculty who are passionate about diversity and eliminating disparities and who are engaged in community advocacy and policy initiatives.

Is there a separate application process for the IM/MPH track?

There is a separate National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Code for this track: 1042140C1. Applicants to this track will be contacted separately by the KP Oakland Internal Medicine Residency program during the interview season and asked to provide just a few pieces of additional information not included in ERAS (for example, a brief personal statement of your reasons for applying to the track). There is no additional interview for this track—your interviewers will discuss your IM/MPH interest with you on your interview day.

If I am interested in the IM/MPH track, do I need to apply to both the categorical internal medicine residency and to the IM/MPH track?

IM/MPH applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to both the categorical internal medicine track and to the IM/MPH track.

Is there a clinical component during the MPH year (the PGY-4 year)?

Yes. We believe it’s important for your future career to maintain your clinical skills during the PGY-4 year. We will develop a specific plan on an individual basis so as not to interfere with your MPH work. For residents considering a career in outpatient medicine, we would envision ambulatory clinics or elective rotations in general medicine and subspecialty care during the PGY-4 year to further refine your clinical effectiveness. Hospitalist-bound residents may opt for additional work in the inpatient setting. Furthermore, our program provides opportunities for unique clinical experiences in the community surrounding Kaiser Permanente, depending on your interests. The PGY-4 year will also focus on building and establishing administrative and leadership skills—including curriculum and program development, project management, strategic planning, and junior resident mentorship—which are critical for preparing you for the next phase in your medical career.

Who mentors the IM/MPH residents?

In addition to mentoring by the faculty and Program Directors in the internal medicine residency training program, the IM/MPH resident will meet with faculty at the School of Public Health and at the Kaiser Division of Research beginning as early as their intern year. While Dr. Joan Lo will be the initial mentor for all residents in the IM/MPH track, it is anticipated that over the course of the first 3 PGY years, IM/MPH residents will establish additional mentors tailored to their specific research and program interests. During the PGY-4 year, residents will be mentored by faculty at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health for their UC Berkeley course and project work, as well as by Program Directors in the internal medicine residency training program.

I haven’t decided for sure if the MPH track is right for me. If I match into Kaiser Oakland’s categorical internal medicine residency, will I have the opportunity to switch to the IM/MPH track during residency?

Currently, the number of interested applicants to the IM/MPH track far exceeds the available spots and it is anticipated that the IM/MPH program will be filled entirely through the match. However, while there is no guarantee, a categorical resident who demonstrates particular interest and acumen in epidemiology or public health may be considered for the IM/MPH program, space permitting. Categorical residents can also apply to enter the MPH program upon completing residency (but the tuition costs and PGY-4 stipend would not be guaranteed).

Did I read it correctly that the IM/MPH resident will get paid a PGY-4 salary during the MPH year AND have the tuition for the MPH program paid for by Kaiser?

Yes! Kaiser Oakland is 100% committed to this program’s success.

What are examples of research projects available to the IM/MPH residents?

Kaiser Permanente Division of Research Faculty is national and international leaders in the field of health services research and clinical epidemiology with publications every year in the highest-profile medical journals. We are very fortunate that the Division of Research (DOR) is located in Oakland, and many DOR faculty have mentored our residents in the IM/MPH track, including Dr. Lo. A list of ongoing projects and recent publications from faculty at the Division of Research can be found at: Residents also collaborate with physician faculty at KP Oakland. During the MPH year, residents collaborate with UC Berkeley Faculty, public health departments, and community programs, depending on their project focus.

Examples of IM/MPH Research Projects Conducted during PGY 1-3

  • Cardiovascular health of Asian Americans
  • Outcomes following hip fracture in older men and women
  • Osteoporosis treatment, fracture risk, and fracture subtypes
  • Temporal trends in vitamin D deficiency and treatment
  • Pediatric obesity and new approaches to weight classification
  • Prediabetes and diabetes in adolescents with high body mass index
  • Optimizing delivery of type 2 diabetes care in an integrated healthcare system
  • Dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk in youth
  • Utilization patterns of Medicaid enrollees in an integrated healthcare system
  • Psychosocial priorities during time-limited physician visits
  • New approaches to palliative care education in residency training
  • Analgesic management in patients receiving emergency department care
  • Screening and treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Examples of IM/MPH Research Projects Conducted during PGY4

  • Telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Healthcare utilization in the California Medicaid population
  • Food security and distribution planning among Asian refugees
  • Developing a geriatrics nutrition curriculum for public health students
  • Nutrition education in internal medicine residency training
  • Impact of emergency medical service policies on cardiac arrest outcome
  • Impact of insurance type on Affordable Care Act healthcare exchanges for diabetes
  • Effect of breast density legislation on breast magnetic resonance imaging
  • Hydroxychloroquine adherence in systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Optimizing non-prescription naloxone distribution using spatial mapping
  • Nutrition counseling for physicians using a smartphone application module
  • Resident physician knowledge of health reform and the Affordable Care Act
  • HIV testing and treatment needs of African American men
  • Diabetic retinopathy in Mexican immigrant communities

What are examples of careers pursued by graduates of the Interdisciplinary MPH program?

Recent graduates of the IM/MPH residency program have pursued varied careers.  There are graduates with academic university appointments in General Medicine: at UCSF-Fresno, Dr. Stutee Khandelwal (Internal Medicine) leads an innovative program that teaches trainees how to help patients make positive lifestyle changes [Newsletter link], and at Stanford, Dr. Sowmya Srinivasan (Geriatrics) is the Associate Director for Clinical Programs at the Palo Alto VA Geriatric Research Education & Clinical Center. Others have applied epidemiology research skills learned during the MPH to their fellowship pursuits, such as Dr. Lucy Liu (UCSF rheumatology), Dr. Carter English (UC Davis Cardiology), and Dr. Nathan Juergens (UCSF Hospital Medicine).  This program also trains future leaders in community and public health: Dr. Esme Cullen, our 2020 graduate, is Associate Site Medical Director at Marin Community Clinics where her work focuses on health policy, transitions of care, provider and patient communication, and social determinants of health.

The Interdisciplinary degree program at UC Berkeley has been in existence for several decades. Other graduates of this program include advisors to the CDC, a former Medical Director of Housing and Urban Health with the San Francisco Dept of Public Health, a Special Advisor to the UD Interagency Council on homelessness, Policy analyst for Emergency Preparedness, and a former Program Director at the National Cancer Institute.


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