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Preliminary Program

UC Irvine Preliminary Medicine Program (PGY-1 Year): 2024-2025

In addition to our categorical internal medicine residency program, we offer a preliminary medicine residency for students interested in a year of internal medicine training before continuing in another specialty.  This program includes rotations at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach (LBVA), UCI Medical Center (UCIMC), and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (LBMMC). Preliminary medicine residents fill the same roles as their categorical colleagues, including significant teaching involvement with UCI medical students, and are fully integrated in the academic and social environment of the residency program.

A typical year schedule for a preliminary resident is currently a “3+1” pattern throughout the year. 

  1. Inpatient Rotations: 
    29 weeks of wards (at UCIMC and LBVA) and ICU (at all 3 hospitals) divided into 3 week blocks—roughly 6 ward blocks and 3 MICU or CCU blocks per prelim resident

  2. Electives: 
    17 weeks of electives divided into 1-week blocks between inpatient rotations and 2-3 week blocks

  3. Quality Improvement Program: 
    2 weeks—one in the first half and one in the second half of the year, for educational modules, mentored group PI projects, and presentations.

  4. Vacation:
    4 weeks total in 1 or 2 week blocks throughout the year

A word on our electives—Most residents take electives in medical subspecialties. However, in recent years we have been able to broaden the range of choices. Residents have taken electives in ambulatory care, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, psychiatry, neurology, emergency medicine, women’s health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, hospital administration, procedures, and alternative medicine, just to name a few. Occasionally prelim residents pursue research experiences funded through the VA.

In addition to the clinical rotations we have a robust didactic program. Morning and noon conferences each day range from core lectures surveying the key topics of internal medicine—to interactive case conferences—to team-based medical jeopardy games—to New England Journal Image Challenges—to a weekly Academy of Medicine board review/case discussion-to Best Case of the Block in which ward teams compete with each other to make the best case presentation judged on both content and style (bring your dancing shoes and guitar…). We look forward to your ideas about new ways to learn!

Our preliminary residents have been well prepared for ongoing training in a number of different specialties; recent graduates have gone into anesthesiology, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiation oncology, and radiology.

For entry in June 2025 we plan to match for 16 undifferentiated preliminary medicine residents, 5 as part of our linked prelim/neurology program, and 4 as part of our linked prelim/ophthalmology program. Department of Medicine Chair Letter is not required for application. 

For further information please contact: Karen Fremen, D.O. at karen.fremen@va.gov