Internal Medicine Residency

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the faculty like?

Penn has a very large Division of General Internal Medicine, and the Primary Care residents will have contact with most of the faculty members at one time or another through journal club, seminars, the mentoring program, and scholarly projects. The faculty at the Penn Center for Primary Care are primarily responsible for teaching the residents on a daily basis. This group has great enthusiasm for teaching, has won many teaching awards, and considers the Primary Care program their own special project. The group includes Dr. Jack Ende, the Chief of Medicine at PPMC; Dr. Marc Shalaby, the Program Director; and seven other full-time faculty members. The group practices at PPMC, but also attends on the inpatient teaching services, staffing one of PPMC’s inpatient services.

If I complete the Primary Care Program, will I still be able to apply for a subspecialty fellowship?

The answer is “yes.” Penn’s reputation of fine training is likely to be as important when attached to the Primary Care program as to the non-Primary Care program. Over the years we have graduated numerous residents who chose to pursue subspecialty fellowship training. It is our belief that the exceptional ambulatory training is beneficial to many of the medical specialties. That being said, the focus of the program is to train residents for practice, academic, and leadership opportunities in general internal medicine.

Does it make sense to rank both the Penn non-Primary Care and Primary Care programs?

The answer is “yes,” particularly for applicants who are attracted to the Penn System for any of several reasons. Just as graduating from the Primary Care program does not exclude you from opportunities in subspecialty medicine, the Categorical internal medicine program does not exclude you from careers in primary care. The Primary Care program matches only six applicants per year; as a result, it has been quite competitive. It is important to note that all internal medicine residents (categorical to primary care) receive excellent training and are well prepared to go into practice or general internal medicine fellowship after graduation from their residency program. We do not bias our reading of your application based on whether you applied to both programs or just the Primary Care program.

In addition to primary care practice, what career pathways are open to residents who complete the Primary Care program?

The career paths followed by recent Penn graduates interested in primary care include both primary care practice, often in academic medical centers, and general internal medicine fellowship programs. Penn’s General Internal Medicine Fellowship Program is among the nation’s largest and offers exciting opportunities for advanced training in clinical epidemiology, health policy, health services research and medical education.

How do the Primary Care residents relate to the residents in the Categorical Internal Medicine residency programs?

The Primary Care residency program has been conceived and implemented as an integral part of the core program. While the Primary Care residents are likely to function professionally and socially as a cohesive group, they are as likely to form close relationships with non-Primary Care residents. As described above, the rotations and team structure combine Primary care and non-Primary Care residents. Conferences, rounds, and social events of the Department will include residents from both tracks.

For Primary Care residents, where is home? HUP or PPMC?

The answer is both. All Penn residents rotate equally through the inpatient wards at HUP, the VA, and PPMC. Standard track residents have continuity practice at one of the three sites; all the primary care residents have their continuity practice at Penn Presbyterian in the Penn Center for Primary Care with the other key faculty. Dr. Marc Shalaby, the Primary Care Program Director, practices and has his academic office at PPMC, as does the Primary Care Program Administrator, Jenna Brown.

Can I switch from one program to another?

Positions that become available in either program will be offered first to Penn residents from the other track. This, of course, is unpredictable. The Primary Care program hopes to attract high quality house officers who are committed to careers in primary care. At the same time, the Department acknowledges that career preferences may change.

How do I apply to the Primary Care program

To apply: The program has a separate match number. Otherwise, the application process for the Primary Care track is part of the same process used for the Categorical track.

Whom do I contact if I have any further questions after interview day?

You may contact either Dr. Shalaby, the Program Director, or Jenna Brown, the Program Coordinator. Their contact information has been provided below:

39th and Filbert Streets, MAB 102
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 662 9233

BrownThank you for your interest in our program! As the coordinator of Penn’s Primary Care program, I will help guide you through our application and interview process. My primary role is to assist with all administrative (non-clinical) aspects of our program, many of which are scheduling and compliance related. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you during interview season. Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions or to request any additional information.