PIH-UCI Family Medicine Residency

Contact Information

PIH-UCI Family Medicine Residency
12291 Washington Blvd. Suite 500
Whittier, CA 90606-2551
562-698-0811 Ext. 8516

Description of Program 

Increasing interest in global health and international medicine mandates better training opportunities for medical professionals. Tropical medicine as a discipline is inadequately covered by most medical schools, and motivated students must plan extra educational activities on their own. The new Tropical Medicine Program at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital-University of California Irvine Family Medicine Residency (PIH-UCI) attempts to help fill this gap by offering a structured curriculum to physicians-in-training who have a special interest in medicine in the developing world. The curriculum will be available at the beginning of internship (PGY-1), and involves significant mutual commitment on the part of the resident as well as faculty. Its unique design allows for a longitudinal experience across all three years of training and includes opportunities for two international rotations. There is rigorous preparation prior to travel, with close faculty supervision both on campus at PIH and abroad.

Location(s) of program: Didactics on campus in Whittier near Los Angeles, CA. Field experiences currently in two overseas locations: St. Elizabeth Hospital, Shisong, near Kumbo, Northwest Province, Cameroon; and St. Francis Hospital, Katete, Eastern Province, Zambia. 

Description of field experience: The overseas component of the program is focused on sub-Saharan Africa. Participating residents will use their away elective time to complete two one-month rotations, once during second year and once during third year. Key elements include: 

  • Emphasis on rigorous preparation;
  • Exposure to a wide variety of problems including the diversity and breadth of clinical problems encountered in rural hospitals in Africa;
  • Unique clinical experience;
  • Direct faculty supervision;
  • Logistical planning and support;
  • Sharing of knowledge;
  • Contributions;
  • Cultural exchange.

Description of didactics: As on-campus education, there is a two-year didactic component covering some of the major aspects of clinical tropical medicine, which is organized as a combination of lectures, directed reading, practical sessions, laboratory component, paper presentations, and seminars. After completing the two-year didactic schedule, the third-year residents‚ if eligible‚ will be expected to study for the exam required to obtain the Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler’s Health offered by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). During the third year, the resident will prepare a manuscript in their area of interest for presentation at a conference and submission for publication if appropriate. 

Cost to individual resident: For each overseas rotation, the resident is expected to contribute $1,000 towards transport; the balance is covered by the program. During the month in Africa, a small contribution is required to cover room and board, which currently is about $300. Air evacuation insurance and liability is provided by the program.

Number of residents who have participated in the last two years: 4

Description of faculty involvement: The faculty supervisor, the director of the Tropical Medicine program, is responsible for all didactics and personally oversees the residents during the rotations. See above for details.

Does the program accept medical students for trips? No

Does the program accept residents from outside the program for trips? No

Approximate time of year/duration of trips: One month each, twice a year: September in Cameroon; and March in Zambia. 

Who to contact if interested in applying:

Alexis Cambanis
Tropical Medicine Program Director