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Internal Medicine San Francisco - Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID) are core tenets of our Internal Medicine Residency Program at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. We serve an urban patient population with tremendous socioeconomic, ethnic, gender and cultural diversity. We seek residents from a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, and nontraditional paths with the goal of having a diverse resident workforce that can address the care needs and health disparities of our patients.

  • We have a URM Housestaff Group with representation from our internal medicine residency program as well as across our multiple subspecialty fellowship programs. This group is comprised of KP San Francisco residents and fellows with faculty mentorship and strives to promote mentorship and career development, enhance recruitment of trainees from underrepresented backgrounds, improve equity and address health disparities in patient care, educate resident and faculty on EID resources, and promote a learning environment that values all individuals and populations.
  • Our program also provides support and mentorship to our residents from underrepresented in medicine groups. Dr. Sandra Torrente, Director of Medical Education, and Dr. Amber Wheeler, core faculty and subspecialty education lead, are active members in the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco’s Equity Task Force, an advisory committee to our medical center leadership team. The committee recommends specific and measurable objectives with the goal of operationalizing anti-racist policies and bringing a lens of equity to patient care. We have resident representation on the Equity Task Force to ensure that resident input is included in medical center wide initiatives and that information about these projects can be better disseminated to our residency program.
  • Our EID Curriculum provides resources to our learners and strives to cultivate a community of physicians and leaders who are dedicated to improving the health disparities and injustices that affect our patients and colleagues. The curriculum includes discussions on equity and health disparities in various educational venues, including morning report, teaching rounds, small group discussions and lectures. Recent topics covered include cultural humility, privilege, upstander intervention, hypertension in the Black community, challenges faced by Black providers, and migrant/asylum health.
  • As part of our annual recruitment, interviewers undergo implicit bias training, and we take a holistic approach to the screening and ranking of candidates. We also strive to engage a diverse group of faculty and residents in the recruitment process, including virtual evening mixer events that provide opportunities for applicants to meet our BIPoC physicians and hear their experience as members of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco community.
  • Our program participates in outreach efforts with organizations such as the Student National Medical Association and the Latino Medical Student Association. We also host medical students in the Kaiser Permanente Introduction to Integrated Health Care program.

Community Health

In San Francisco, non-Hispanic whites comprise less than half of the population and nearly half of all households speak a language other than English at home. In addition to our patients with traditional Kaiser health coverage, we care for more Medi-Cal patients than any other health system, many of whom have multiple complex medical conditions. Homelessness, substance use disorders, food/housing insecurity, and low health literacy are common challenges for our patients, which we work to address through a multidisciplinary approach in our fully integrated health care system.

We also think it is important that our residents experience other health care settings and thus encourage electives outside of our system. All second-year residents spend two weeks rotating in the emergency department at San Francisco General Hospital. Residents care for uninsured patients at the Clinic By The Bay weekly during their month-long Ambulatory elective, and our residents have opportunities to work in a community FQHC setting under the supervision of our Community Medicine fellow. Lastly, we encourage interested residents to pursue away rotations at other institutions or international medical experiences through the KP Global Health Program.

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