Welcome to the Primary Care Track at Cooper!
Our Primary Care track was created in 2011 and has grown to five residents per class. Two of our five incoming residents may be matched through an accelerated 3-year primary care training program offered at our affiliated medical school, CMSRU. We are a tight-knit family focusing on providing culturally competent, cost-conscious, evidence based primary care to diverse populations. While we are lucky to have a "program within a program," the PC track is also fully integrated within the larger Internal Medicine program. This provides support and mentorship from all of Program Leadership and co-residents.
The structure of our program is a 4+2 model that tracks with the categorical track so residents travel with their peers throughout residency. As of 2020, we have incorporated a four week outpatient clinic block for PGY-2s and PGY-3s in addition to their +2 ambulatory weeks to increase exposure to the outpatient experience and provide a true window into the daily practice of primary care medicine.
Roughly half of our PC graduates ultimately pursue careers within Outpatient General Internal Medicine while the other fifty percent go on to careers as Hospitalists or continue on to fellowships. Regardless of the careers our graduates choose, our goal is to train excellent primary care clinicians. Through our didactic series, clinical experiences, and the population we serve in Camden, NJ our residents learn to treat patients in the dynamic, complex healthcare system with special attention to vulnerable populations including medically underserved patients, patients with mental health issues including substance abuse, and trauma informed care. Our program is also dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion through mentoring efforts, curricular changes, and recruitment strategies as well as a focus on clinical practices and teaching for anti-racist healthcare.
I invite you to explore our program and to reach out with any questions.
Jenny Melli, MD, FACP
Primary Care Track FAQs
How is the Primary Care Track unique?
- Continuity clinic for PC residents in suite 215, Camden, our most medically and socially complex clinic, where residents develop their own patient panel over the course of 3 and truly become the primary doctor for a panel of patients.
- One additional clinic month assigned in both the PGY2 and PGY3 years designed to be an immersive experience for PC residents to hone their outpatient skills.
- Primary care home call during the PGY2 and PGY3 years overseen by core faculty.
- Access to outpatient subspeciality electives created specifically for future Primary Care providers such as Women’s Health, Outpatient Dermatology, Outpatient Cardiology, Sports medicine and more.
- Dedicated primary care lecture series every sixth week of the year - all PC residents are relieved of clinical duties to attend. Cooper’s newly formed Family Medicine residency shares didactic time intermittently to create a larger community of primary care providers.
- Home visits with a Geriatrician from the VA during your PGY2 year.
How is the Primary Care Track the same as the Categorical Track?
Like the Categorical track, this is a three-year Internal Medicine residency and graduates are ABIM board eligible in Internal Medicine at the end of their training. Residents in the Primary Care track are full and equal members of the Internal Medicine residency program, with all of the same benefits and support.
When you are on the inpatient rotations, there is absolutely no distinction made between residents who are on either track.
Can I still go into a subspecialty or be a hospitalist if I do the Primary Care Track?
Yes. The goal of this track is to graduate physicians who are exceedingly well prepared for careers in primary care as clinicians, researchers, community activists, public health administrators and other positions at the forefront of primary medical care. That said, many graduates of primary care tracks across the country do change their minds and enter a subspecialty. Recent graduates have gone into Rheumatology, Palliative Care, and Geriatrics. The training you receive will certainly prepare you for any path.
Can I apply to and rank both Categorical and Primary Care Tracks?
Yes! The number for the Primary Care Track in the NRMP is 1380140M0.