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Tracks within the Program

Kriti Thapa, MD, MPHOur internal medicine residency program, which is grounded on the biopsychosocial model, develops well-rounded, compassionate residents and provides residents with the opportunity to focus on specific tracks if interested, such as the Primary Care track, Research Option, Global Health Pathway, etc. There is also the flexibility and faculty support to create electives to support any specific individual interests."

Kriti Thapa, MD, MPH
Class of 2021

Motivated U of R medicine residents can become involved in several different, exciting areas of emphasis within the residency program. Each of these pathways allows residents to take a “deeper dive” in these areas, which can help form a career direction. Completion of the requirements of the pathway will result in a graduation certificate that acknowledges distinction in the area of emphasis (e.g., “Distinction in Research”).

Medical Educator Pathway

Director: Kit Gracy, M.D.

We began offering an optional Medical Educator Pathway in the 2013-2014 academic year for residents who envision teaching as a major component of their future careers.

The University of Rochester Internal Medicine Residency Program has a long tradition of emphasizing a resident’s role as teacher. Layered on top of this tradition, the Medical Educator Pathway helps participating residents build an even stronger foundation in educational theory and practice to serve as a springboard for a career as leaders in internal medicine education.

Read more about the pathway

Research Option

Director: John Grable, MD

The Research Option provides an opportunity for interested residents to receive their residency diploma with “Distinction in Research.” The resident should begin planning a research project during their PGY1 year and should have a proposal ready for review by the departmental committee no later than the beginning of the PGY2 year. If the project is approved, the resident may use four weeks of elective time in the PGY2 year and up to four weeks of elective time in the PGY3 year for focused work on their project. Alternatively, the resident can use ambulatory sessions within the block model to protect time to perform mentored research.

Completion of the research option requires:

  • Presentation of the completed project at a noon conference in the spring of the PGY3 year. The presentation will be attended and critiqued by a panel of faculty experts.
  • Preparation of a manuscript suitable for submission for publication.
  • Here are the Research Option presentations by resident of their work in previous years:

Procedure Track

Director: Aaron Roy, MD

Residents with a particular interest in bedside procedures may graduate with “Distinction in Procedural Skills” if they complete the requirements of the track. Requirements include completing a substantial number (i.e., well beyond the minimum number needed for credentialing) of bedside procedures, including paracentesis, thoracentesis, central line placement, lumbar puncture, and ultrasound-guided peripheral IV placement; must supervise a sufficient number of other trainees doing bedside procedures; and must help oversee resident procedural opportunities and educational activities.

Community Advocacy (CARE) Track

Director: Andrew Aligne, MD, MPH

The Community Health & Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track is an elective longitudinal experience starting in the second year of residency in which residents build a community-based intervention in partnership with a community-based advocacy organization. Our CARE Track is built on the foundations created by our pediatrics residency in partnership with the U of R Hoekelman Center, which has become a national model for training residents in community-based advocacy work.

The track starts with a “mini-MPH” block covering the essentials of community-based advocacy, evidence-based public health, cross cultural communication, leadership and other relevant areas using Rochester-specific examples in the teaching. Participating residents will also use one of their longitudinal ambulatory elective half days in the R2 and the R3 year for longitudinal work on a project of their design (in collaboration with an existing community-based advocacy organization).  More information and example projects can be found on our Med-Peds and pediatrics residency websites.

Global Health Track

Director: Amina Alio, PhD

Our Global Health Track (GHT) is designed to provide a broad based didactic curriculum along with up to eight weeks of time over the course of the residency to pursue involvement in Global Health activities. Maximum flexibility is afforded to allow for the development of individual interests.

A project is required to complete participation in the GHT, culminating in a poster, abstract, presentation, or manuscript. The project may be educational in nature, community-based, or research oriented. Examples of recent projects include: a research study evaluating knowledge of HPV and HPV vaccination among HIV-infected adolescents in South Africa; an evaluation of patterns of alcohol consumption among migrant farm workers in Western New York; teaching neonatal resuscitation at a small hospital in Ghana; conducting a comparison of government supported geriatric care between Japan and the United States. Mentorship will be provided to help design projects, identify overseas opportunities, choose among opportunities, and steer GHT activities towards individual career goals.

The GHT track includes a two-week course in community health followed by Global Health presentations/seminars spread throughout the academic year. Every effort will be made to coordinate didactic activities with clinical schedules. GHT residents will be encouraged to participate in Global Health activities that are sponsored by other departments and schools at the University of Rochester. With successful completion of this track, residents receive "Distinction in Global Health" upon graduation.

POCUS (Point of Care Ultrasound) Track

Director: William Novak, MD

We believe that core point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) skills are integral to our residents’ future careers and therefore provide foundational POCUS training to all of our residents through a variety of experiences including an ultrasound rotation, hands-on skills workshops, and supervised scanning during clinical care.  

For residents seeking further refinement of POCUS skills and the opportunity to graduate with “Distinction in Point-of-Care Ultrasound” we also offer a Point-of-Care Ultrasound Pathway.  Components include a deeper diver into more advanced skillsets, creation of an ultrasound image portfolio, participation in dedicated ultrasound teaching activities, and ultrasound skills assessment. The pathway is directed by Dr. Bill Novak, a residency APD.

Medicine in Psychiatry Track

Directors: Telva Olivares, MD and Kirk Harris, MD

The University of Rochester has a long and distinguished history of creative collaboration between the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine aimed at improving the care of patients. For example, the Biopsychosocial Model was originally described by George Engel, a U of R internist and psychiatrist, in 1977.

The Distinction in Psychiatry, Mental Health and Wellness Pathway of the University Rochester Internal Medicine residency program recognizes those residents who have participated fully in the activities of the Medicine Residency and have completed additional meaningful training and scholarship work in the Department of Psychiatry. Residents can choose elective experiences in state of the art integrated medicine-behavioral health units dedicated to treating medical patients with active comorbid psychiatric disease, medical clinics for patients with active psychiatric and/or substance use disorders, and emergency services for patients with active psychiatric illnesses. Residents in this track will also participate in a longitudinal curriculum that complements their medicine residency training, and they can select QI and/or research projects involving the intersections between medicine and psychiatry. The Pathway is directed by Drs. Telva Olivares and Kirk Harris.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Track

Director: Meghan Train, DO

The internal medicine residency program at the University of Rochester is committed to engaging residents in quality improvement and patient safety (QI/PS) improvement projects.  Residents are on the front lines at the bedside and are fundamental in finding ways for improvement in patient safety concerns.  All IM residents at the University of Rochester participate in a robust QI/PS curriculum and are involved in population health care improvement efforts and multidisciplinary QI teams supported by the medical center in clinical areas of their interest.

For residents with interest in pursuing additional QI/PS training, we provide an optional Track that will lead to Distinction in QI/PS. The Track provides opportunities for deeper exploration of QI/PS topics, engagement in URMC QI/PS leadership activities and committee meetings (e.g., Root Cause Analysis, Complication Integration Committee, Rapid Response Team Reviews, etc.), faculty mentorship from leaders of URMC’s QI efforts, support for travel to QI conferences, and mentoring and dissemination opportunities for QI scholarship.

Learn more about the Quality Improvement Track

Digital Health and Innovation Track

Director: Heather Reyes, MD, M.Eng.

This track is designed for residents with a background in areas such as computer science, engineering, data science, or information technology. Residents will complete a mentored project and participate in activities with the UR Health Lab, a multidisciplinary collaboration between the medical center and College of Arts, Science, and Engineering, to learn about how technology and data drive the way healthcare is delivered. Topics include telehealth, medical devices, mobile and web applications, electronic health records, data analysis, and artificial intelligence.