Primary Care Careers
Goals and Opportunities
- Do you enjoy the continuity of caring for patients and families over time?
- Are you interested in prevention as well as treatment of disease?
- Are you interested in the health of a community as well as an individual?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you will likely enjoy a career in primary care pediatrics. This pathway will help you further explore those interests.
While this pathway is directed toward residents interested in primary care, residents planning to pursue sub-specialty training, especially those sub-specialties with an emphasis on outpatient medicine, may also find the opportunities in this pathway helpful in further developing skills in longitudinal and ambulatory care. Opportunities in this pathway may be combined with those in other pathways to create your individualized learning plan.
The Primary Care Careers Pathway (PCCP) is being developed to provide a broad exposure to primary care medicine, with patient care, educational, and mentoring experiences in a variety of outpatient settings. It will provide options and opportunities to augment pediatric residency for those interested in primary care careers such as primary care in private practice, primary care in rural or international locations, primary care in community health centers, or primary care academic settings. Through a "picklist" of educational opportunities including elective rotations and self-study options, the PCCP will help residents to develop skills needed to make office visits rewarding for both the patient and the physician, to cultivate expertise in managing conditions common to the outpatient setting as well as in office procedures, to foster an understanding of the challenges of running an outpatient practice, and to improve skills in teaching and research in ambulatory medicine including quality improvement.
The ACGME has charged residency programs with implementing a way for each resident to develop and implement an individualized learning plan with their adviser. The PCCP was created to help residents who plan to do primary care develop individualized learning plans meaningful to their future careers. Since a majority of traditional residency is spent in the hospital, this pathway will provide structured opportunities to further explore primary care medicine outside of continuity clinic and CHC block.
Things to Think About
There are many wonderful opportunities in primary care. Here are some questions to thing about as you develop your individualized curriculum:
- Are you considering National Health Service Corp (NHSC), Indian Health Service (IHS), or Loan Re-payment sites?
- Are you considering International Health?
- Do you envision yourself in a rural area, suburban area, or urban area?
- Are you thinking about private practice, an academic practice, a Federally Qualified Health Center, etc for your future career?
- Do you want to be involved with teaching medical students and residents?
- Are you interested in getting further education after residency by doing a General Academic Pediatric Fellowship, a Masters of Business, a Masters of Public Health, or a Masters in Medical Education?
Your individualized curriculum should be built to meet your needs. For example, a resident planning to obtain loan repayment in a rural NHSC site may seek to gain further expertise in the delivery room, procedures and transport medicine while a resident interested in working in an academic primary care practice may look for opportunities to develop further expertise in teaching skills and quality improvement.