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Curriculum

group of residents

Our Goal – We strive to educate Family Physicians who will be excellent clinicians in communities where primary care physicians are needed to practice at the highest level of their training. Our area specifically, and rural communities in general, need FPs who are excellent outpatient physicians, but who are also capable to care for sick patients in the hospital, deliver babies, and work in the emergency room. All Family Medicine residency programs are required to follow the curriculum guidelines specified in the ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Family Medicine. What sets our program apart from some others is that being unopposed means that our residents get to train in a community where the focus is solely to educate Family Physicians. They get the benefit of treating a wide variety of patients in a rural regional medical center and having their continuity clinic as part of a long established and well respected Federally Qualified Health Center.

  • Year 1
  • Inpatient Medicine 12 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine 4 weeks
  • OB 4 weeks
  • Cardiology 4 weeks
  • Musculoskeletal 4 weeks
  • Pediatric ER 4 weeks
  • Geriatrics 4 weeks
  • Women’s Health 4 weeks
  • Dermatology 4 weeks
  • Behavioral Health 4 weeks
  • ICU 2 weeks
  • Anesthesiology 2 weeks
  • Year 2
  • Inpatient Medicine 10 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine 4 weeks
  • OB 6 weeks
  • Pediatric Inpatient 4 weeks
  • Orthopedics / Sports Med. 4 weeks
  • Gynecology 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics Outpatient 4 weeks
  • Health Systems Management 4 weeks
  • Track Electives 6 weeks
  • General Electives 4 weeks
  • Night Float 2 weeks
  • Year 3
  • Inpatient Medicine 10 weeks
  • Surgery 4 weeks
  • Native American Clinic 4 weeks
  • Ambulatory Procedures 4 weeks
  • Pediatrics Outpatient 4 weeks
  • Track Electives 8 weeks
  • General Electives 10 weeks
  • Night Float 8 weeks

Outpatient Clinic – Our residents are assigned a panel of primary care patient on their first day who they will follow for their 3-year residency. The outpatient clinic is located at the Redwood Community Health Center, just a 3 minute walk from the hospital. Residents attend an outpatient clinic for at least one half day a week for their entire three years. As a branch of Open Door Clinic, many patients are part of the safety-net population that FQHC's were designed to serve. However, since Open Door Clinics are the main providers of primary care for our entire community residents, will treat a wide variety of patients on their panel. Resident who plan to focus their practice on outpatient care after graduation may choose this as their Track Elective focus area. In their 2nd and 3rd years they spend an addiotional 14 weeks in clinic perfecting their outpatient management skills.

Track Electives - Some of our residents plan to practice outpatient medicine after graduation. However, many or our residents hope to continue caring for hospitalized patients, obstetrics and emergency room work in their future plans. In their second year our residents select one of four focus areas to concentrate their elective time: inpatient medicine, obstetrics, outpatient medicine or emergency room. 14 weeks of their elective time in their last two years of residency are spent training in this area of concentration.

Didactics – Each Wednesday afternoon all of our residents gather together for didactics. There are formal Board review sessions as well as discussions led by residents on tropics of interest. Community physicians in various disciplines discussing topics pertinent to family physicians. In addition, there are regular sessions focusing on resident wellness.

Scholarly Activity – Residents are expected to complete two research projects during their 3 years. One may be a Quality Improvement project involving the clinic or hospital. The other may focus on community medicine. The isolation of our community and the fact that almost all of the population of Humboldt County have medical records in the Open Door or St. Joseph EMRs make it an ideal setting for community-based research. As a regional medical center, our residents get to care for patients with a wide range of conditions. Residents are encouraged to write up case reports for poster presentations or publication. Recent examples include: Massive Pancreatic Pseudocyst, Perforated Appendicitis, Clostridium septicum Sepsis, and Acute Anterior Fornix Infarction.

Inpatient Adult Medicine – Residents spend time each of their three years on the adult inpatient service at Providence St. Joseph Hospital, in 2 weeks blocks. The residents service functions as one of 5 hospitalist teams, caring for almost all adult patients in the hospital. Our team consists of 3 or 4 residents with a senior resident coordinating the service. Attending physicians are either Family Medicine residency faculty or hospitalists. Our goal is for residents to be prepared to care independently for patients with a wide range of illnesses by the end of their third year of training. As the major community hospital in our region, our residents get to treat patients with common medical problems typical in any community hospital. However, as the only regional medical center in a large area, our residents also treat a variety of "unusual cases". We encourage our residents to write up their "unusual cases" and you can see a number of their presentations above. Residents who have an interest into going into hospitalist medicine may choose this as their Track Elective and spend an additional 14 weeks on the inpatient service in their 2nd and 3rd years.

Emergency Medicine – First- and Second-year residents spend 4 weeks apiece in the Emergency Room of Providence St. Joseph Hospital in two-week blocks. As the only level 3 trauma center in our region the emergency room is busy. Training is supervised by Board Certified ER physicians. By the end of their training, residents are expected to be prepared to care for the wide range of patients typically seen in ERs. Residents who have a special interest in emergency room medicine may choose this as their track elective area and receive an extra 14 weeks working in the ER in their last two years of residency training.

Obstetrics – First year residents spend 4 weeks and second year residents spend 6 weeks on Labor and Delivery. They are supervised by Family Physicians on the Residency faculty as well as OB-GYNS and Nurse Midwives on the staff of Open Door Clinic and the Providence Medical Group, Humboldt. Residents also follow the pregnant women in their continuity clinic and are expected to attend their birth whenever possible. While in L&D, residents also round on newborns including those in the NICU. Residents who have a special interest in Obstetrics may choose this as their Track Elective area and get to spend an additional 14 weeks on OB in their 2nd and 3rd years of training.

Pediatric Emergency Room – Since our community does not have a designated pediatric emergency room, we have partnered with UC Davis Medical Center for our residents to receive this required training at their Pediatric Emergency Room. First year residents go to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento for a 4-week rotation in pediatric emergency medicine. The program pays for transportation expenses and lodging in Sacramento close to the UCD Medical Center.

Pediatric Inpatient Medicine - Since we also do not have a designated pediatric inpatient service in our community, our 2nd year residents go to UC Davis Medical Center for this required 4 week rotation. The program pays for transportation expenses and lodging in Sacramento close to the UCD Medical Center.

Pediatric Outpatient Medicine – Residents have 4 weeks of Pediatric Outpatient Medicine in two-week blocks during both their second and third year of residency. This rotation is supervised by Pediatricians at the Open Door Eureka Community Health Center Pediatric Clinic and in the offices of Pediatricians in the Providence Medical Group , Humboldt.

Intensive Care Unit/Anesthesia – First year residents spend 2 weeks in the ICU and 2 weeks with anesthesia, perfecting their intubation skills. Our 15 bed ICU is supervised by Intensivists. Since the FM residents are the only residents in the ICU, our residents gain experience in the care of acutely ill patients.

Musculoskeletal/Orthopedics/Sports Medicine – There are 4-week rotations in the first and second year of residency divided into two-week blocks. Time is spent with Orthopedic Surgeons in the Providence Medical Group, Humboldt as well as FPs with sports medicine training, Rheumatology and Podiatry.

Women’s Health/Gynecology – There are 4-week rotations in the First and Second year of residency in Women’s Health and Gynecology in two-week blocks. This is supervised by FPs in the Open Door Clinic with practices focused on Women’s Health as well as OB/GYN specialists in the Open Door Clinic.

Behavioral Health – There is a 4-week rotation during the first year in Behavioral Health in two-week blocks. Time is spent with Psychiatrists in the Open Door Clinic and private practice, and the Humboldt County Psychiatric Inpatient and Outpatient units as well as the Humboldt County Jail.

Dermatology – There is a 4-week rotation in Dermatology on the first year in two-week blocks. Supervising ate Dermatologists in the Providence Medical Group, Humboldt and in private practice.

Cardiology – There is a 4-week rotation in year 1 in Cardiology in two-week blocks. Time is spent with Cardiologists from the Providence Medical Group, Humboldt in their clinic seeing patients as well as doing Cardiology consultations with them in the hospital.

Geriatrics – There is a 4-week rotation in the first year in Geriatrics. Residents spend 2 two-week blocks at the Redwood Coast Program for the All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE). This model program is designed to keep frail elderly people living safely at home. Residents also have a few of their continuity patients who reside in a local skilled nursing facility who they will see monthly during their last 2 years under the supervision of an FP who is the Medical Director of the nursing home.

Surgery – There is a 4-week rotation in the 3rd year of residency in surgery. However, in addition residents are encouraged to assist in operations when their continuity patients in clinic or the patients they care for in the hospital go to the OR throughout the residency.

Native American Health - Third year residents spend 4 weeks working in the clinics of the United Indian Health Services (UIHS). Time is spent at their primary clinic in Arcata, the Potawat Health Village, as well as outlying clinics under the supervision of their Family Physicians. The goal of the rotation is to gain knowledge and respect for the issues involved in providing medical care for the Native American communities on the North Coast of California. In addition, elective time may be spent at UIHS is desired.

Health System Management – There is a 4-week rotation in the second year on Health System Management divided into one or two week sections. Time is spent in a variety of settings including the quality assurance departments of the hospital and Open Door Clinic. Principles of managed care are covered by the Humboldt Independent Practitioners Association (IPA) and Partnership Health Care which manages the Medicaid program in Humboldt County. The Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society discuss laws relating to the practice of medicine and the role of organized medicine guiding political action for progress in medical care.

Night Float - Second and Third year residents have rotations in the hospital on Night Float. They work a 7PM to 7AM shift for 6 days each week. They cover the residents inpatient service at night and also work with the hospitalist "Nocturnist" in the Emergency Room admitting patients to the hospital overnight. On the rare occasions when things are quiet, they can catch a few winks in one of the residents sleep rooms in the hospital.

Vacation/Personal Time Off - In each year of training residents may take up to 30 days off for vacation or PTO. If residents find it necessary to take more than 30 days off in any 12 month period for maternity, parental or sick leave, ACGME, ABFM and Providence policies and California employment law apply. This means that if a resident takes more than 30 days leave in a 12 month period, their training time must be extended accordingly to apply for Board Certification.

Electives - There are 4 weeks in the second year and 10 weeks in the third year of residency for general electives. These are broken into 2-week sessions so there is time for seven different electives during the three-year residency. This is in addition the the 14 weeks spent in one of the 4 "track elective" focus areas chosen by each resident in their second year. Residents may choose to work with a variety of community physicians, or design their own local or out of area electives.

  • Allergy/Asthma
  • Anesthesiology/Intubation/Central Lines
  • Cancer Care working with the team at our Regional Cancer Center
  • Infectious Disease
  • Medical Management of Substance Use Disorder
  • Native American Care at the United Indian Health Services
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Palliative Care and Hospice Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Urology