uclabruins47

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What is the difference? I know the categorical is the regular IM where you can go for fellowships after. I see this on many of the program's pages on ERAS and I end up picking both. I might end up doing primary care or end up going for fellowship but I don't know and I dont care which one i end up with. So which one should I pick or can I pick both (if there's even a difference)? Do the programs know that I'm applying to both and does that matter? Thanks! :confused:
 

ekydrd

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uclabruins47 said:
What is the difference? I know the categorical is the regular IM where you can go for fellowships after. I see this on many of the program's pages on ERAS and I end up picking both. I might end up doing primary care or end up going for fellowship but I don't know and I dont care which one i end up with. So which one should I pick or can I pick both (if there's even a difference)? Do the programs know that I'm applying to both and does that matter? Thanks! :confused:
I'm not sure I understand your reference. I don't recall ever seeing Primary Care vs Categorical on a program. If you are referring to "P" or "C" as an option then it means you are selecting Preliminary or Categorical. Preliminary is a 1 year slot used as the intern training year in medicine before going on to a specialty such as radiology. Categorical is the full 3 year residency in IM from which you can go on to a fellowship. If you are selecting both you may wind up with only a prelim spot and no real residency, which will then require you to go through the whole process again to gain a categorical spot.
 
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uclabruins47

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on ERAS when i select an IM program, some will have check boxes where u have three options:
* preliminary
* primary care (categorical)
* categorical
for example, the Emory IM program lists all three options.
 
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mig26x

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primary care is a categorical program but with more outpatient population interaction. I think.
 

nofear

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i think with primary care track you will be doing outpatient private office after you are done..so after 1 year, i think half of your 2nd year and half of third year will be in a private office rather than the hospital...its not for going to fellowship programs after...


mig26x said:
primary care is a categorical program but with more outpatient population interaction. I think.
 

gutonc

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The major difference in most programs is that you spend some of your elective months doing primary care rotations rather than specialty rotations. Most people who do PC tracks plan to go into general outpt. IM when they're done but there's no reason one can't get a fellowship and many people who start off in PC tracks end up doing them. By choosing one or the other, you will not be limiting yourself too much in the future, just choosing whether you want to spend your elective time doing GI consults or gen med clinics.

BE (now PE)
 
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uclabruins47

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thanks for the info everyone. Is there any harm in choosing both tracks when applying, since I'm not too sure whether I want to do gen med or fellowships yet?
 

punjabiMD

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compare the curricula for both tracks at the programs that you are interested in. Then go with your heart's desire.

I'm in a primary care track at my program. As BE mentioned, my elective months are spent doing PC rotations. I have almost the same amount of ward/ICU time (maybe just a couple weeks less) as the categorical program. I decided to go PC as I felt it would offer me a better experience and stronger training than the categorical (which is also quite excellent).

And I plan on going onto fellowship (cardiology).
 

zeloc

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It seems like there are a lot of great primary care programs with people going into fellowships afterward, and I can see doing a particular primary care program over a categorical because it will provide better training, but do program directors look down on someone who is interviewing for a primary care track and planning on subspecializing? Is it wise to not mention a possible subspecialty interest?
 

Fexofenadine

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Just a thought.... Aren't most PC Programs geared towards training solid primary care physicians? I understand that in a typical PC prgram, approximately 20-40% of the applicants go onto fellowship training. I don't think applying to both PC and Categorial programs will hurt your application chances. However, I do not think it's "easier" or "less competitive" applying to a PC vs. Categorial as all PC programs have fewer spots than Categorial programs. The key thing is that you have to be totally HONEST with yourself. If you want to be a subspecialist, then I don't think the PC program is ideal. Remember, it's competitive to get accepted to UCSF whether you apply to PC or Categorical...the same is true for other top-notched programs...
 

spumoni620

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From perusing program's websites, the PC programs are definitely geared toward hospitalist/general practice with more outpt experience, etc. But nearly all of the programs state that fellowships are still obtainable even if you go through this track. Although I agree with fexofenadine - if you have your heart set on being a subspecialist it doesn't make much sense to go down the PC route.

To focus on uclabruins' question...I personally am in the same boat you are in: the idea of primary care appeals tremendously to me (I want to work w/low-income/underserved, etc.) and I actually like the idea of being a generalist. But I also love pulmonary/critical care and cardiology, so those are options I might explore. At this point, I applied to a lot of programs and checked the boxes for both "primary care" and "categorical" if they were both offered. Hopefully PDs understand that you can't really crystal ball exactly what you want to do 7 years from now...

UCSF PRIME track and the SGH programs look absolutely amazing. But as fexofenadine pointed out they are incredibly competitive...it would be a dream to land an interview there! We'll see...
 
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