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FAQ

Why are our residents happy?

You will thrive in the friendly and supportive atmosphere here at Kaiser Oakland. Your ideas will be respected, encouraged and incorporated into the program structure. You will practice in state-of-the-art hospital and clinic buildings within a high-functioning system—and you can be proud at the end of the day about the care you provide your patients.

Our schedule is flexible so you can take full advantage of Bay Area living. You are the best physician when you are the most balanced physician. Work-life balance is supported in a variety of ways:

  • Comprehensive residency Wellness program, led by dedicated Assistant Program Director
  • Ward medicine rotations include one weekend day off EACH WEEK
  • 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
  • Wellness lunches & Wellness Curriculum including resiliency sessions
  • Confidential mental health support

How frequently are residents on call? Is there a night float system?

We eliminated overnight “call” over 10 years ago to allow residents to maximize their daytime education goals and ensure the highest level of quality patient care while providing a schedule with time to enjoy life outside of work.

The night float intern/resident team provides cross-coverage and admits patients from 7pm to 7am each day. The maximum number of consecutive nights residents work at night is 6, and PGY-3 residents do only a handful of night shifts all year.

What are the strengths of our program?

Current residents had this to say when asked what they enjoyed most about training at Kaiser Oakland:

  • “great patient mix, cool cases, I feel like I’m part of a community in the hospital”
  • “the camaraderie with my colleagues, outstanding teaching, my clinic patients, the sense of family in the hospital with RNs, staff, etc”
  • “the people- my co-interns absolutely rock! Awesome program directors and staff and enthusiastic and approachable attendings”
  •  “outstanding academic teaching”
  • “great patient database for research and residents are  given time and support for research”
  •  “excellent evidence-based teaching in ambulatory care and the specialties”
  • “diverse patient population with exposure to wide spectrum of pathology”
  • “program leadership is responsive to resident feedback on how to improve the program”
  • “program’s commitment to providing best possible educational experience for the residents”
  • “great program staff/faculty – especially the program director”
  • “promotes autonomy but also provides many resources for professional growth”

What patient population do we care for?

Oakland is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in America with more than 125 languages and dialects spoken. African Americans comprise approximately 30% of our patients, and Hispanics another 20%. In addition to their time at Kaiser Oakland, our residents care for patients at a large county hospital (UCSF’s San Francisco General Hospital – on endocrinology rotation and other electives), the Lifelong Clinics of Oakland, the Malta Free Clinic of Oakland, and other Bay Area community sites such as San Quentin prison, La Clinica de La Raza, and the Native American Health Center . Former graduates now practice at several of these community sites. Social justice is our program’s mission, and we aim to eliminate disparities in health outcomes by providing the same high-level care to all individuals.

Our commitment to diversity includes pipeline mentoring efforts with local schools led by Dr. Nailah Thompson, the Integrated Health Care rotation for rising second-year medical students from backgrounds traditionally under-represented in medicine from across the country, and the Medical Student Diversity Scholarship program created to support medical students who share our mission to create a more diverse physician work force for our patients.

I speak additional language(s). Are there opportunities for me to use my language skills in caring for patients?

Yes! Oakland Kaiser reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of the city of Oakland. We have many Spanish and Chinese speaking patients as well as over 100 other languages spoken in Oakland. Kaiser Oakland is committed to a workforce that reflects the patients we care for and Kaiser was been named #2 by DiversityInc in 2017 for its commitment to a diverse workforce.

You can care for patients in our African American hypertension clinic, Salud En Español and Asian Health Clinics. Our electronic medical record allows us to identify individuals who have additional language skills for your clinic.

In addition, you can do electives at La Clinica de la Raza and Alameda County’s Asian Health as well as many volunteer opportunities in our community (health screening at the Oakland Zoo, San Quentin, etc!).

Will Kaiser Oakland prepare residents for fellowship success?

Absolutely! You can see from our list that (see Alumni page) our residents have been very successful in going onto fellowship training in the field and location of their choice. As more medicine residents are choosing subspecialty training, we have created a flexible curriculum to optimize their fellowship preparation, including protected time and mentorship for research, and time for away rotations and interviews.

The 3-year research program prepares residents for fellowship success. In the first year, residents identified are added on to an IRB-approved project as a co-investigator and then present results of this project at a regional conference in the intern year, such as the Northern California ACP conference. Later in the intern year, residents begin selecting novel projects in their subspecialty with the aim of presenting this work at a national subspecialty conference. Then in the third year, residents submit their original research as a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.

In addition to the traditional research opportunities, residents seeking fellowship will complete their residency-required QI project in their field of interest, present this work at Grand Rounds, and submit this work to a peer-reviewed meeting. Residents will also participate in subspecialty committees, a great way to network with faculty and to identify active research and QI projects in the resident’s field of interest.

On my electives, can I do off-campus or international rotations?

Yes! Our electives allow for incredible flexibility. Off campus electives can be taken at UCSF, Stanford or other accredited programs. See our Curriculum & Rotation section for additional details.

Through the KP Global Health Program we fund licensed residents to rotate in a variety of international programs including the Matibabu Foundation in Kenya the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, Da Nang General hospital in Vietnam, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We have had residents recently in Belize, Nicaragua, Israel, Taiwan, Columbia, Kenya and South Korea. Read our Global Health blog here.

Kaiser Oakland IM/ MPH graduate Dr. Somalee Banerjee mentors residents aspiring to Global Health careers. She works clinically at Kaiser Oakland as a Ward Hospitalist attending and is also a Senior Research Fellow studying health systems internationally.

What are the KORE Pathways?

The Kaiser Oakland REsident Pathways allow residents to choose an area for more in-depth of focus during their training, with a goal of preparing residents optimally to enter the next phase of their career.  The KORE pathways include:

  • Research/Fellowship Pathway
  • Primary Care Pathway/QI Pathway
  • Hospital Medicine/QI Pathway
  • Medical Education Pathway
  • Community/Global Medicine Pathway

Learn more about KORE Pathways.

How many interns and residents are in our program?

We have 13 categorical residents in each year (39 categoricals) plus 6-7 preliminary interns. Of the 13 categorical residents each year, 9 are in the traditional categorical track, 2 are in the Internal Medicine/MPH track and 2 are in the Primary Care Health Equities and Disparities Track.

Do we have a University affiliation?

Yes, we are affiliated with UC San Francisco School of Medicine and with Drexel University. Many of our faculty hold UCSF clinical teaching faculty positions and residents rotate at San Francisco General Hospital during part of Endocrinology rotation and during other electives. We have UCSF medical students who complete their entire integrated 3rd-year of clerkships at our campus as part of the KLIC (Kaiser Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship) Program and we are the only non-UCSF site where UCSF students can complete their required IM sub-internship. You will also work with 3rd-year students from the UCSF/UCB Joint Medical Program on wards. In addition, we host over 200 medical students from across the country at our campus every year, including ~60 sub-interns on inpatient medicine subinternship rotations.

 

How much vacation do I get? Will I get days off?

All residents receive three weeks of paid vacation per year as an intern and 4 weeks as a PGY2 and PGY3. During inpatient rotations, all residents are off one day out of seven when averaged over 4 weeks. On the wards, all residents have one weekend day off each week. On most electives and specialty rotations, residents have the weekend off.

What are the team caps and how many patients do interns care for?

The ward team cap is a total of 14 patients. Each intern cares of a maximum of 7 patients.

Does the program offer a board review course?

Dr. Baudendistel is co-editor of the popular First Aid for the Internal Medicine Boards review book. Residents benefit from his fast-paced condensed board review in the last few months for our senior residents! In addition, senior residents receive stipends to attend a national Board Prep course, choosing from many sites across the U.S. Our program for many years has far exceeded national averages for board success including a 98% pass rate for the past 5 years.

How will I be mentored?

We pride ourselves on the individualized mentoring we provide our residents. All residents are assigned mentors who will meet with you informally throughout the year and will also conduct a one-on-one mid-year meeting to review performance, set goals, and to help you optimize your time in residency to develop your career interests and prepare you for life after residency. Internal Medicine is a unique field with so many potential career paths, and it is our program philosophy to match every individual to the career path best suited for them. The small-ish size and the intimate relationships in our program allow us to form very close mentoring partnerships between residents and faculty. The flexibility of the schedule further enhances residents’ abilities to carve out their unique pathway.

In addition to the mentor program, we support residents through dedicated curricula in research, QI and Health Policy, and we provide funding for research, conference travel, and global health rotations. We also are proud of our 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.

Is there a difference between the categorical and preliminary intern programs?

Preliminary interns have more elective time than categorical interns due to subspecialty rotation requirements for the categoricals. In exchange for having approximately twice as much elective time, preliminary interns average a few more weeks of inpatient rotations (wards, ICU, and night float) as compared to categoricals. Like categoricals, preliminary interns will have a dedicated mentor to guide them through the intern year. Categoricals follow an outpatient panel of patients for whom they provide longitudinal primary care, whereas preliminary year interns’ outpatient experiences include urgent care medicine and a variety of ambulatory specialty experience to pursue during elective time.

Preliminary interns can take on research projects, with the caveat that it takes a proactive and motivated person to accomplish meaningful research in the intern year. Dr. Lo has mentored several preliminary interns on projects over the years, and Dr. Baudendistel continues to mentor preliminary interns on medical education and other innovation projects, always with a focus on what is feasible and of interest to the intern.

What core subspecialty on-campus rotations are available?

All categorical residents complete the following rotations over their three years of residency:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonary
  • Gastroenterology
  • Nephrology
  • Endocrinology
  • Rheumatology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Geriatrics & Palliative medicine

Elective blocks are in addition to the subspecialty rotations and include (but are not limited to):

  • Anesthesiology
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Chemical Dependency and Recovery
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Chronic Conditions Management
  • Dermatology
  • Medical Genetics
  • Medical Informatics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pathology
  • Podiatry
  • Radiology including Interventional Radiology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Research
  • Urology
  • Office Gynecology
  • Medical Genetics
  • Primary Care Elective
  • Clinical Hospitalist Elective
  • Master Clinician Educator Elective
  • Health Policy Elective
  • Administrative Hospitalist Elective
  • International Elective
  • Psychiatry
  • Design & Innovation
  • PM&R

What formal teaching and leadership training is available at Oakland Kaiser?

Interns go through training to prepare them for leading a team. Our intern year communication course includes training on public speaking (led by folks who train Google executives!). In addition, early in the R2 year, there is a formal training course on “Teaching the Teachers” effective skills needed for the resident-teacher. Our R3’s have additional leadership and business of medicine training.

The Kaiser Oakland residents and Program Director created the Kaiser Oakland Passport, a collection of 10-15-minute teaching scripts for residents to use to deliver mini-talks to their teams on a variety of common clinical topics.

Residents seeking additional formal training in teaching opt to pursue the Distinction in Medical Education KORE Pathway.

How has the program done on the recent ACGME/Residency Survey?

Thanks to our excellent educational program, high resident satisfaction, committed faculty, and our superb administrative support we are in the top 5% of programs in the nation in terms of ACGME accreditation. We are compliant with the duty hours for our residents, including no overnight call; we provide one day off each week on wards; we adhere to best practices regarding resident wellness, patient safety and QI; have a curriculum in sign-outs/ transitions of care; and have policies for fatigue mitigation. Out of 41 survey items on the most recent survey from the ACGME, our residents rated 20 items more than a standard deviation above the national mean and zero below the mean.

What electronic services are available?

You will practice using our fully integrated Epic-based outpatient and inpatient electronic medical record called “Healthconnect” which includes all notes from encounters in the office, hospital, ED, other chronic care facilities, and includes the entire laboratory and radiologic images as well as the pharmacy records.  Computers are located throughout the floors and in each patient’s room as well as in the resident lounge, and you will be provided a secure smartphone (i-phone) with fingertip access to the Healthconnect EMR including UptoDate access. With these resources, you can open images of all radiologic studies, ECGs, PFTs, and even digital photos of patients with just a click of the mouse—great for patient care and teaching. Your patients can email you through secure messaging, allowing a great way to stay in touch with your clinic patients, and you will practice state-of-the-art office medicine including video visits and telemedicine. You will also receive e-MKSAP for R2s and R3s. All residents benefit from case-based electronic curriculum in continuity clinic (Yale Curriculum) and wards (Professor EBM).

How do I apply to Oakland Kaiser? How can I contact the Program Director or Chief Residents?

Contact us by e-mail (Auanja.Thompson@kp.org) or by phone (510) 752-6126 with any questions. See How to Apply for more information.

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