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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). 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 Oakland, with an emphasis on research, epidemiologic methods and scholarly work in collaboration with mentors at Kaiser 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 Master’s 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 and GME Research Director 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
  • Global and International Health
  • Clinical and Epidemiologic Research

Please see the UC Berkeley School of Public Health for more information.

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 learn about their past and current projects.

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.

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

Santo EC, Forbes PW, Oken E, Belfort MB. Determinants of physical activity frequency and provider advice during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2017 Sep 5;17(1):286. PMID: 28870169

Maring B, Greenspan LC, Chandra M, Daniels SR, Sinaiko A, Prineas RJ, Parker ED, Adams KL, Daley MF, Sherwood NE, Kharbanda EO, Margolis KL, Magid DJ, O’Connor PJ, Lo JC. Comparing US paediatric and adult weight classification at the transition from late teenage to young adulthood. Pediatr Obes. Epub 2015 Jan 22. PMID: 25612172

Chau S, Chandra M, Grimsrud CD, Gonzalez JR, Hui RL, Lo JC. Femur fracture classification in women with a history of breast cancer. Journal of Bone Oncology 2014; 3:49-53.

Stratton-Loeffler MJ, Lo JC, Hui RL, Coates A, Minkoff JR, Budayr A. Treatment of vitamin d deficiency within a large integrated health care delivery system. J Manag Care Pharm. Sep 2012;18(7):497-505.

Sobel E, Ettinger B, Lo J, Pressman A. Application of New Method for Evaluating Performance of Fracture Risk Tool.Am J Managed Care, 2012 Oct; 18(10):e398 (Letter to Editor).

Khandelwal S, Chandra M, Lo JC. Clinical characteristics, bone mineral density and non-vertebral osteoporotic fracture outcomes among post-menopausal U.S. South Asian Women. Bone.Dec 2012;51(6):1025-1028.

  • Second Place 2016 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Eilann Santo)
  • First Place 2014 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Lucy Liu)
  • Second Place 2014 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Somalee Banerjee)
  • 2013 UCSF Bechtel Award (Sowmya Srinivasan) for scholarly or research achievements in geriatrics
  • First Place 2012 Northern California ACP Resident Research Poster Competition (Stutee Khandelwal)

IM/MPH Post-Graduate Careers

University of California San Francisco at Fresno
VA Palo Alto Health Care System / Stanford
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center
Fellowships: Geriatrics (Stanford); Rheumatology (UCSF)

News from Our Graduates

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

Featured in EyeWitness News 47 (Central Valley)
Featured in the Fresno Bee (2015)
Featured in the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health
Interdisciplinary MPH Program Alumni and Student News (Fall 2014)
“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)

Moxie Loeffler, DO, MPH (2014), Physician, Lane County Public Health Department; Lane County Health Equity Coalition

Featured in the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health
Interdisciplinary MPH Program Alumni and Student News (Spring 2015)

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, prepares 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. 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.

Health Equity & Disparities track residents spend over a third of their 3-year residency training 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. In this track, if you are interested in scholarly activity you will work with mentors in the Disparities division of the Kaiser Division of Research. Upon completing training in the Health Equity and Disparities track, you will be a well-trained internal medicine physician able to care for underserved and vulnerable populations and actively address the multi-level factors that influence health disparities in the communities you will serve. 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 are 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 PGY1-3

  • Outcomes following hip fracture in older men and women
  • Osteoporosis, 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
  • Screening and treatment for diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Pertussis vaccination rates and Parapertussis infection trends

Examples of IM/MPH Research Projects Conducted during PGY4

  • 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 erythematosis
  • 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
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