What are the “feel” and “culture” of the program?
The residents traditionally form a very close-knit group and many consider the other residents their “extended family”. Frequent social gatherings, group outings, and picnics are often where residents can relax and spend time with one another in a non-work setting. Evaluation, improvement, and innovation is driven by our learners! Resident meetings are scheduled monthly as a platform for discussion and ongoing programmatic improvement. Small group practice meetings, special interest dinners, and board-review pizza nights are among the venues for further collaboration and learning in a more intimate setting. We also have a monthly peer support group where residents can have a protected time/space for airing concerns and thoughts. Our residents also participate in off-site overnight retreats twice a year that are supported strongly by the faculty and hospital leadership, and that serve as platforms for resident-based program evaluation. Residents are active on several hospital, regional, ambulatory, and curriculum-based committees, providing rich opportunities for feedback and collaboration within our organization’s Graduate Medical Education community.
What is the patient population like at Kaiser Oakland?
Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the United States, with over 150 languages spoken within our city limits. This translates into an unsurpassed exposure to different cultures and backgrounds as well as pathology. During a clinic afternoon, you may see a teen who is struggling with food insecurity at home, a newborn baby of parents who are professors at Berkeley, followed by a recent immigrant family who does not yet speak much English. We have excellent translation services for a variety of languages and many of our staff and residents speak languages other than English as their primary language. Approximately 10% of our population receives their Kaiser coverage via Medi-Cal.
How have the work hours restrictions affected residency training and call in your program?
Our residents continue to learn actively during night team coverage rotations. Night team coverage consists of 1 or 2-week blocks throughout the year. Each night team helps cover 6 out of every 7 nights (Sunday – Friday). Saturday night cross-coverage residents are on non-inpatient based rotations. We have 24/7 in-house attending coverage on all services, providing excellent support and teaching to our night team services. Night team experiences exist in the ward, ED, NICU/newborn, and PICU settings. Our aim is to offer training that allows residents to focus on bedside and longitudinal learning and continuity of clinical experiences.
Can you describe the pediatric subspecialty experiences?
Kaiser Permanente Oakland is an academic institution serving as the Northern California Regional Referral Center for most specialties including (but not limited to) hematology/oncology, endocrinology, rheumatology, genetics, metabolic disorders, and cystic fibrosis. In addition, most pediatric subspecialties are directly available at the Oakland Medical center, serving as the hub for a regional pediatric referral system, and residents have terrific opportunities to pursue possible fellowship opportunities, research interests, and sharpen their clinical skills and learning in each of these disciplines. Lastly, residents develop strong relationships with our subspecialty faculty, cultivating great streams of professional mentorship and clinical guidance both at our medical center and affiliated partner institutions.
Is the East Bay a nice place to live?
The East Bay is one of the best places to live in the Bay Area. The temperature is moderate year round. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is available and can get you most anywhere in the Bay Area without driving. The East Bay hills abound in opportunities for hiking outdoor activities, and exciting cultural opportunities and incredible restaurants are widely and easily available. Read here for more on Oakland.