GIM/Primary Care Program


Our General Internal Medicine Residency aims to provide a balance of ambulatory and inpatient educational experiences in order to foster the growth and development of the consummate generalist. Our program leadership believes that the exceptional generalist embodies the core values of medicine – medical knowledge, humanism, and professionalism – these are what we strive to develop in our trainees.  Our overarching mission is to provide you with the skills and tools necessary to go on to careers in clinical medicine, academic medicine, research and leadership.


  • Our History

    Created in 1979, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University General Internal Medicine Residency Program is one of the oldest primary care programs in the country. At its inception, the goal was to develop a model internal medicine residency program with a primary care focus.  Distinct blocks of ambulatory experiences were begun and remain a core part of our program today.  We pride ourselves on continued innovation and believe that by continuing to change, we provide the best training in primary care possible.
  • Our Ambulatory Block Experience

    Our residency program allows a comprehensive ambulatory experience to be woven throughout the 3 years of training.  At the core of the program is Ambulatory Block which is scheduled as three months in each of the first two years and two months in the third year.  Residents are assigned a “block group” and stay with that group throughout ambulatory block, creating an instant kinship and comradery of like-minded people.  Time on block is devoted solely to teaching and exposes residents to all aspects of ambulatory internal medicine and its interface with other medical and non-medical subspecialties.

    Approximately one quarter of the time in block is devoted exclusively to the continuing practice of outpatient internal medicine in the resident’s own longitudinal clinic, a third to subspecialty ambulatory rotations and the remaining 30-40% to a structured curriculum of topics in ambulatory medicine, including Women's Health; psychology and psychiatry in primary care; Primary care orthopedics seminars; weekly ambulatory morning report; evidence based medicine; health promotion; clinical teaching seminars; and professional development, as well as weekly journal club and special primary care seminars and events.  The Center for Primary Care Curriculum (co-developed by residents and faculty) complete this component of the overall curriculum.

    Subspecialty ambulatory rotations during block include geriatrics, office gynecology, allergy, ophthalmology, ENT, orthopedics, dermatology, HIV/ID, endocrine and others. As illustrated in the sample week of ambulatory block, the subspecialty rotations are often scheduled together based on similar themes, such as musculoskeletal specialties. These experiences broaden the resident's knowledge of ambulatory medicine and help to establish the skills related to the treatment and referral of specific problems in the practice of outpatient general internal medicine.

    Psychosocial Aspects of Ambulatory Medicine

    One major emphasis of the program is in the psychiatric and psychosocial aspects of medicine.  This curriculum has remained one of the distinguishing features of our program.  In the course of the three-year curriculum, residents learn to work effectively with patients whose psychiatric and/or psychosocial problems constitute a major aspect of their illness. The behavioral sciences faculty is multidisciplinary and includes a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist, along with several internists in general medicine and faculty members from the Brown Medical School Centers for Preventive and Behavioral Medicine.  In the first year, residents are involved in a course on communication, covering such topics as doctor-patient communication, the role of family in primary care and cultural differences in the experience of illness. Concurrently, a general psychiatry lecture series completes the first-year curriculum. Home visits are an important part of the second year experience.  One of the residents chooses one of their patients who present difficult diagnostic and/or management issues. Program residents, working with our psychiatrist and clinical psychologist, serve as consultants and develop new management strategies for the patients' primary provider.  Every graduate draws upon the invaluable information learned in these seminars throughout their careers.

    Primary Care Journal Club (PCJC) is one of the longest running academic journal clubs in the country, occurring weekly.   A resident and faculty member work together to choose and develop a topic based on a recent article from the medical literature. Topics cover the full spectrum of medical care problems and issues that confront physicians today. Group discussions provide a forum for debating primary care topics. The PCJC gives the resident an opportunity to learn the skills of critical appraisal of the literature and presentation, working closely with a faculty member. This conference is highly regarded throughout the institution.

    In the ambulatory medicine seminars, a faculty member presents a topic in which he or she has expertise. Topics include hypertension, diabetes, substance abuse, women's health, clinical epidemiology/biostatistics, adolescent medicine, geriatrics/hospice and HIV management. Seminar topics are chosen based on their importance to outpatient practice. Two additional specific seminar series are presented during ambulatory block. A course in critical appraisal of the medical literature allows residents to formally learn skills important to the practice of evidence-based medicine. Clinical teaching skills are taught in a seminar series, which focuses on the theory and practice of effective clinical teaching. The Seminar is run by one of our revered faculty members who have attended the Stanford Faculty Development Course for Clinical Teaching.

    Curriculum Innovation

    Residents are encouraged to innovate and contribute to the teaching of their peers as well.  We are exceptionally proud of the contributions made to the curriculum by recent residents. One example of resident contributions is our "Physician as Advocate" Curriculum which is now a highly regarded component of the curriculum.

    Our Practice Management Curriculum takes place during third year block. The seminars include topics such as "Understanding Our Health Care System," "The Patient Centered Medical Home," and "Understanding Billing and Coding."  There is still much flexibility in the month, with residents having ample time to do scholarly work and/or additional ambulatory experiences.

  • Our Clinic Experience

    The home for our longitudinal clinic is the Center for Primary Care located at 245 Chapman St (5 minute drive from RIH) in Providence. Our patients are from the area surrounding the hospital and clinic. We have a diverse patient population including long term relationships with many different refugee populations. About 40% of our patients speak a language other than English. At our clinic the support staff include MAs, RNs, LPNs, Social Workers, psychiatry liaison, diabetes educators and clinical pharmacists. The services include an outpatient procedure clinic that we get to participate in and on-site lab.
  • Our Inpatient Experience

    The Internal Medicine Residency at Brown Medical School provides training at three sites: The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, and the VA Medical Center. By offering a multi-institutional training program, we provide our residents with several distinct, diverse populations of patients, training environments, and complementary institutional cultures. Together these institutions represent an array of faculty that, in its depth and breadth, offers residents an exceptional opportunity for education and professional growth.  General Internal Medicine residents have the same inpatient experiences as the Categorical residents.
  • Our Career Development

    Our residency is based in the Rhode Island Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine, one of the largest divisions in the department of medicine. Our residents develop close working relationships with division faculty who are leaders in primary care education, research and clinical practice.  Upon entry into the program, interns are assigned faculty advisors to aid them in career planning and resident advisors to help transition them from medical school to residency.


    Throughout their training, residents receive regular evaluation and feedback, career guidance, and have an opportunity to contribute new and creative ideas in a highly receptive atmosphere. Our learning environment is one in which the values of collegiality and teamwork are paramount to providing outstanding patient care.  We strive to improve the lives of our patients every day.  In working toward this goal, we pride ourselves on having a non-hierarchical approach to patient care and education, one in which all members are valued. We also strive to learn something new every day and to have fun while practicing medicine. Our residents and our faculty embody this spirit.

    Society for General Internal Medicine

    The Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM) is the national professional organization for general internal medicine faculty and residents. Each year the program sends residents to the regional and national meetings of SGIM where they attend workshops, mini-courses and presentations concerning all aspects of general internal medicine and primary care. Each year faculty and residents present their research findings at these meetings. Membership in the society allows for important interactions that facilitate professional growth and future career connections.

  • Our Graduates

    We are exceptionally proud of our program graduates. They have gone on to make significant contributions to internal medicine, both in the US and abroad.  Some have entered private internal medicine practice, fellowships in general internal medicine and subspecialties, and careers in public health, health administration and academic medicine. Many graduates have developed careers as clinician-educators (including becoming Program Directors!) and researchers.  Others have gone on to serve vulnerable populations, including working for the Indian Health Services, at Community Health Centers as well as working in practices dedicated to the care of those affected by HIV.  Our residents have matched in highly competitive fellowships in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and in General Internal Medicine Fellowships throughout the US.  Some have gone on to work with the Epidemiologic Intelligence Agency at the CDC, while others have worked internationally for several years after completing their training. Our aim is to help foster and nurture our residents’ professional growth and development, helping each one achieve the next phase of his or her career.