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Internal Medicine Curriculum and Affiliations

In addition to acquiring a solid foundation in inpatient and ambulatory general medicine, residents in our program also have rotations in cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, nephrology, hematology/oncology, rheumatology, endocrinology, neurology and geriatrics. They may also choose from electives in non-Internal Medicine specialties such as ophthalmology, radiology and anesthesiology.


The PGY-1 year is designed to give preliminary and categorical interns a solid clinical experience in general inpatient medicine, critical care medicine, and ambulatory medicine. Interns are able to assume the role of primary caregiver for patients while under the supervision of senior residents and teaching faculty. The typical intern schedule includes:

  • 24 weeks – Wards
  • 8 weeks – ICU
  • 6 weeks – Ambulatory
  • 4 weeks – Elective
  • 4 weeks – Vacation
  • 2 weeks – Cardiology

In the PGY-2 year, residents assume a supervisory role over their junior colleagues while under the guidance of the teaching faculty. They also enjoy a greater opportunity to explore their individual interests in subspecialties, primary care, and/or research. The typical PGY-2 schedule is as follows:

  • 12 weeks – Wards
  • 8 weeks – ICU
  • 8 weeks – Elective
  • 6 weeks – Ambulatory
  • 4 weeks – Night Float
  • 4 weeks – Vacation
  • 2 weeks – Cardiology
  • 2 weeks – Emergency Medicine
  • 2 weeks – Gastroenterology
  • 2 weeks – Endocrinology/Infectious Disease
  • 2 weeks – Hematology Oncology

The PGY-3 year gives senior residents expanded autonomy and the opportunity to shape their roles as teachers and team leaders. They have ample opportunity to refine their skills and prepare themselves for individual career paths. The PGY-3 schedule includes:

  • 10 weeks – Wards
  • 10 weeks – Elective
  • 6 weeks – Ambulatory
  • 4 weeks – ICU
  • 4 weeks – Vacation
  • 4 weeks – Night Float
  • 2 weeks – Neurology
  • 2 weeks – Geriatrics
  • 2 weeks – Med Consult
  • 2 weeks – Rheumatology
  • 1 week – Addiction Medicine
  • 1 week – Hospice and Palliative Care


Our program is a collaborative effort of Valleywise Health and Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Affiliations with the following institutions round out a program that provides the resident with a balanced experience encompassing managed care, private practice, critical care, ambulatory and primary/preventive care.

Valleywise Health has a proud tradition of being both the community safety net health care system, with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved and Arizona’s only public teaching hospital. Valleywise Health consists of Valleywise Health Medical Center, the only Level I Trauma Center in Arizona verified by the American College of Surgeons to care for both adults and children, Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern U.S., Valleywise Health’s McDowell Healthcare Center, which is the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, the Arizona Children’s Center, two behavioral health centers, and 13 neighborhood Family Health Centers.

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is part of Dignity Health, which recently merged with Catholic Health Initiatives to form the largest Catholic health care system in the country. St. Joseph’s is a nationally recognized center for quality tertiary care, medical education and research. It includes the internationally renowned Barrow Neurological Institute®, the Norton Thoracic Institute, Center for Women's Health and a Level I Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons. The hospital is also a respected center for orthopedics, internal medicine, primary care and many other medical services. Founded in 1895 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph’s was the first hospital in the Phoenix area.

Mayo Clinic in Arizona builds on our tradition of safe, innovative, integrated care. On two main campuses in Scottsdale and Phoenix, you'll receive world-class, safely delivered care in a serene environment enhanced by peaceful walking paths and meditation gardens.

Arizona Pulmonary Specialists, Ltd. is a multi-specialty private practice with offices in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Our physicians and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to patients with lung and infectious diseases in the office, acute care, and long term acute care settings.

Our board certified pulmonary/critical care physicians are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COPD, asthma, cancer, and other pulmonary diseases, sleep disorders, pulmonary hypertension and care of the critically ill.

To fight infectious diseases of all types and in all organs, our practitioners provide in-patient and out-patient care to patients with HIV as well as infections of the bone, blood, brain, skin, abdomen, chest, and other areas, as well as many other illnesses.

Chronic pain affects millions of Americans every year. The rheumatology physicians here at Arizona Pulmonary are committed to providing quality services related to rheumatologic care. Our focus is to effectively identify and treat arthritis and other diseases that affect the muscles, joints and bones.

Dignity Health is your gateway to world-class cancer care. Our cancer services at the Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's extend beyond the traditional doctor-patient relationship. They start with a range of screening options for early detection and extend through personalized treatment following a cancer diagnosis—enabling you to take charge of your health.

The Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center opened the doors to its new facility on Phoenix Biomedical Campus in 2015, leveraging the strengths of both Dignity Health and the University of Arizona to offer high-quality cancer care services that are collaborative, research-driven, interdisciplinary, translational and patient-focused.

At Southwest Kidney Institute (SKI), we believe in partnering with our patients, their families and referring physicians to develop a personalized treatment plan to meet the patient’s medical and lifestyle needs. Their mission is to “Improve the lives of our patients by providing customized, comprehensive, high quality kidney care.”

Arizona Kidney Disease & Hypertension Centers (AKDHC) is one of the nation's largest groups of physicians specializing in the care of patients with renal disease including chronic kidney disease (CKD), vascular access management, dialysis, transplantation and clinical research. Since 1976, AKDHC has enjoyed the trust and respect of the community and has grown to provide services throughout Arizona. Our goal is to provide the most advanced treatments and state-of-the-art technologies with compassion and caring. They aim to provide quality medical care to enhance the well-being of our patients. By practicing high level research-based, comprehensive, state-of-the art nephrology, transplant medicine, and expanding our medical services, we broaden our patient and referral base, and strengthen our capacity to enhance our patients' lives.

Norton Thoracic Institute (NTI) is one of the nation's leading medical centers for the diagnosis and treatment of lung, esophageal and chest diseases. Home of the nation's busiest lung transplantation program, NTI has earned a reputation for excellence and innovation in caring for patients with complex and difficult thoracic problems. NTI also conducts groundbreaking research and trains young physicians to improve outcomes for patients in Arizona and beyond. 

Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona is an international leader in the treatment, research, and education of brain and spinal diseases, conditions, and injuries. Led by Barrow President and CEO Michael T. Lawton, MD, one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, the Institute performs more neurosurgical procedures annually than any other facility in the United States. Their mission is to advance the knowledge and practice of medicine in neuroscience through basic and clinical research, education of medical professionals, and innovation in clinical techniques and technology.


The rich patient care experiences in our program are reinforced by a robust set of competency-aligned, integrated academic conferences. Our annual conference schedule begins with Welcome and Orientation programming designed to introduce residents to each other and attendings.

A System Introduction curriculum is held in July of each year. This curriculum introduces interns to resources, processes and people. Topics include: meeting nurses and answering nurse pages, doing orders and notes, completing dictations and discharge summaries, learning the electronic medical system, working with consultants, meeting the pharmacists and pharmacy basics, engaging in critical communication with families, and meeting the case managers and case management basics.

In July and August, Boot Camp Conferences focus on refreshing the basics of clinical care (e.g., Acute Chest pain, Thromboembolic Disease, GI Bleed, AKI, Delirium, Sepsis, Pain Management, Severe Abdominal pain).

An interactive case-based conference is held three times a week. The purpose of this conference is to frame learning in the context of a clinical case, to stimulate critical thinking, and to reinforce evidence-based practice.

In August, the Noon Conference curriculum begins with presentations. These conferences are integrated across inpatient and outpatient care venues and are divided into 2-4 week subspecialty blocks to encourage deep conceptual learning and resident self-study in alignment with the conference topics. The curriculum consists of didactic lectures on core topics which are frequently encountered in the clinical setting and tested on board exams. In addition, breakout sessions facilitated by faculty encourage deeper learning through case discussions and peer-to-peer interaction.

In addition to medical knowledge/patient care topics, weekly conferences also include:

  • Resident Wellness – Provides opportunity for understanding the process of formulating unique pathways to well-being and work life balance.
  • Ethics and Compassionate Care – Provides opportunities for team debriefing to process challenging emotions that arise in complex patient care to aid development of communication, coping and reframing strategies that support self-care, team trust and sustained patient empathy.
  • Radiology Rounds – Image review in collaboration with radiology residents and faculty for learning to interpret plain films, CT, US, MRIs and Nuclear scans within a clinical context.
  • Board Study and MKSAP questions review – In addition to MKSAP sessions, twice annual Simulated Board Exams provide residents with specific feedback on medical knowledge challenges.
  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety – Residents learn to use Quality Improvement and Patient Safety tools to plan, implement, and study their own quality improvement projects, which are conducted in a variety of inpatient, outpatient and community settings under faculty mentorship.
  • Research – Research conferences are designed to teach residents the basic principles of research and to showcase research projects currently being conducted by residents and faculty.
  • Grand Rounds are held twice a month, alternating between Internal Medicine Grand Rounds, which feature renowned speakers on cutting-edge topics, and Medical Education Grand Rounds, which address important topics pertinent to residents, such as Clinical Work Hours and the Learning Environment, Fatigue Mitigation, and the Residents as Teachers series.
  • Morbidity, Mortality, and Improvement Conferences – These conferences identify adverse events in system-based coordination of care, communication processes, and individual contributing factors and identify initiatives to improve patient care and safety.
  • Journal Clubs are held at least monthly. Journal Club promotes currency with latest evidence-based clinical information relevant to internal medicine and subspecialties, reviews principles of evidence-based medicine, and help residents to evaluate clinical practices by comparison to scientific evidence and guidelines.
  • Simulation sessions are held throughout the year, beginning with a Procedure Simulation Bootcamp during orientation in July and continuing with refresher sessions to allow residents to practice their skills in a state-of-the-art simulation lab.


Wellness among the residents is of utmost importance to us during your residency training. We have a dedicated group consisting of social workers and attending physicians who work closely with the resident-run wellness committee to promote the well-being of our resident physicians.

We take a comprehensive approach to cultivating resident wellness by focusing on physical, spiritual, financial, intellectual, environmental, emotional, and multicultural well-being. Residents help organize events, participate in research projects, and represent resident issues affecting each residency class through our resident-run wellness committee.

The wellness committee also organizes small in-person resident events such as happy hours, wellness hikes, potlucks, park days, holiday celebrations, and many more gatherings for the residency and faculty members.

We understand firsthand how challenging residency can be, but we also know that you can have a lot of fun as well. It is important to us to cultivate a work environment where residents feel cared for and supported so that we can provide the best possible care to their patients and reach all of our professional goals – together.

Residents working together on project.


Audrey McFall, Program Supervisor
Dolores Castro, Site Coordinator, Valleywise
Ashlynn Holloway, Site Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
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