The Primary Care/General Internal Medicine Pathway is a program of mentoring, curriculum, and elective experiences which supplement rather than replace the categorical internal medicine curriculum. Building on the rigor of the Columbia training program, the pathway provides structure while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to individual residents’ interests and development during residency. Individual initiative is encouraged and supported through mentoring, research collaboration with faculty, and elective experiences both on and off campus. The pathway does not have a separate match number, and residents have the option to join the pathway after matching to the Columbia residency.
Primary care is a critical component of the curriculum in internal medicine. Residents care for their own panel of complex patients from the underserved community of Washington Heights, on a weekly basis throughout the three years of residency. One-on-one teaching and group lectures from clinician educators emphasize evidenced-based ambulatory medicine. Sessions in dermatology, orthopedics, psychiatry, and gynecology, as well as medicine sub-specialty clinics, strengthen skills needed in the primary care setting.
The PC/GIM pathway complements the curriculum by expanding the resident education from the care of individual patients to the care of populations. Residents in the pathway rotate together through the year. Lectures and a monthly journal club occur throughout the year, and are given by both residents and faculty from Internal Medicine, as well as invited speakers from the School of Public Health, Dept. of Health, and outside foundations.
Residents explore their specific interests through involvement in research and elective experiences. Residents are matched with a research mentor, primarily from the Division of General Medicine, based on the resident’s individual clinical interests. Residents work on research projects during elective time, frequently participating in national conferences. A unique opportunity available to our residents is an elective at the New York City Department of Health, where residents can collaborate and engage with one of the country’s top health departments. During the third year, residents have the option of participating in a Global Health Elective in Santiago, Dominican Republic. This elective allows residents to practice, teach, and reflect on medicine in an academic health center, as well as to be immersed in the culture and language of the primary ethnic group served by our medical center.
The PC/GIM is most importantly a community of residents and faculty with common interests and career goals. The mentoring and support that occurs during regular gatherings, formal and informal, inspire new ideas and collaborations, and expand horizons. We look forward to welcoming to you into the Columbia community.
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Maria E. Hamm, MD
Director Primary Care/General Internal Medicine Pathway