Preventive Medicine Residency with UCSF

Unfortunately, we have no funded slots available for 2013-2014 Practicum or Academic year positions. Medical students interested in preventive medicine are encouraged to consider the Joint Internal Medicine-Preventive Medicine Program with Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.


The Residency Program in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health is a joint program offered by the UCSF School of Medicine and the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. It offers an accredited two-year joint residency program in general preventive medicine.

Residents learn the basic components of preventive medicine, including a core curriculum in epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and management, environmental and occupational health, the cultural, social and behavioral determinants of disease and the clinical practice of preventive medicine. The mission of the program is to train medical specialists for careers in public health practice, medical management and preventive medicine research with emphasis on the management of disease prevention and health promotion in populations. We strive to have each resident learn the skills necessary to serve as a health officer at the local, state or national level upon graduation.

The program is directed by George W. Rutherford, MD, Professor of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and James P. Seward MD, MPP, Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. Both Drs. Rutherford and Seward have extensive backgrounds in public health and preventive medicine practice, and both are active faculty members at the School of Public Health. The program has several affiliated agencies that assist in training residents in their practicum (second) year including the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Public Health, San Francisco General Hospital, the Permanente Medical Group, the Veterans Administration Medical Center San Francisco, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health, and several other county health departments in the Bay Area. Steven A. Schroeder, MD, Distinguished Professor of Health and Healthcare at UCSF, is the Chair of the Preventive Medicine Residency Advisory Committee.

The program's recent graduates have been health officers or deputy health officers in Monterey, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz Counties, the Chiefs of the California Department of Public Health's Immunizations Branch, Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program and Breast Cancer Detection and Prevention Program. Several graduates have gone on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Click here for information about the four-year combined Internal Medicine-Preventive Medicine Program with Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center.


The residency consists of an academic year and a practicum year. Completion of the residency leads to eligibility for board certification by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Residents can select from three training pathways: public health practice, medical management, and public health and prevention research. There are common requirements in both the academic and practicum years for all residents and special requirements for each pathway. These requirements include required and recommended courses and rotations all designed to help residents develop knowledge of and expertise in public health and preventive medicine in general and their chosen pathways. Residents in the public health practice pathway are focused on preparing for a career in federal, state, or local health agencies. Residents in the managed care pathway develop the skills and experience necessary to practice preventive medicine in health care organizations. An academic or research career is the usual goal of residents who selected the public health and prevention research pathway. Applicants who have previously completed a master of public health (MPH) degree from a fully accredited school of public health are enrolled in more advanced courses in epidemiology, biostatistics and other public health subjects at both UCSF and Berkeley.

During the academic and practicum years, students serve as residents at UCSF in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and receive stipends at the appropriate PGY level. The academic year leads to a MPH degree from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. During this year residents are full-time students at Berkeley. The academic year is intensive, requiring the completion of 42 semester units. It includes required courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, health policy and management, social and cultural aspects of public health, and clinical preventive medicine. Residents should concentrate in epidemiology but, with the permission of the program directors, may be allowed to undertake other concentrations. The academic year begins in July, and the residents take the intensive summer courses in epidemiology and biostatistics. During the fall and spring semesters, in addition to the curriculum required by the School of Public Health and the epidemiology program, residents do public health practice rotations at the California Department of Public Health or a public local health agency. They also participate in a weekly preventive medicine residency seminar in the Spring semester that provides an overview of clinical preventive medicine, health policy and management and risk communication. Other courses may be required or recommended for preventive medicine residents depending on their pathway. Residents are expected to attend preventive medicine journal clubs and a regular seminar series in both years of the residency. Residents are also expected to spend approximately 20 percent of their time in each year in supervised patient care activities, which can include continuity clinics, specialty clinics at UCSF or public health clinics at local public health agencies, such as sexually transmitted disease and tuberculosis clinics.

Residents in the practicum year are exposed to a variety of experiences through rotations in different agencies and settings that will lead to the development of specific competencies and skills in the practice of public health and general preventive medicine. Each resident is required to spend at least two months at the California Department of Public Health or one of the local health departments in the San Francisco Bay Area. The major rotation for the practicum year, which can be up to six months in duration, is determined by the resident's pathway. Each resident is required to complete a major project during the practicum year that can vary from an epidemiologic analysis of a specific public health problem to beginning a new public health program to developing a preventive medicine clinical practice guideline for a health maintenance organization. In addition to rotations, residents can attend the Designing Clinical Research course at UCSF in August and September of their practicum year.


The Residency accepts applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). In general applicants are eligible for appointment to UCSF residency positions if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • Graduate of a US or Canadian medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Graduate of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association
  • Graduates of medical school outside of the United States and Canada who either:
    • (a) have a currently valid certificate from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates prior to appointment, or
    • (b) have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a US licensing jurisdiction in which they are in training
  • Graduates of medical schools outside the US who have completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by an LCME-accredited medical school

In addition applicants for appointments in general preventive medicine and public health must meet these additional criteria:

  • Have completed a residency in primary care field (internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, or emergency medicine) at least one year of which must have been in an accredited residency program in the United States or Canada;
  • Possess a California Physician's and Surgeon's license at the start of residency and
  • Have applied for admission to the MPH program in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

Admission to the School of Public Health requires both the UC Berkeley Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowship and application to the School through the electronic Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). With the permission of the Residency Director or Associate Director, applications will be accepted from individuals who have completed a residency in a non-primary care field (e.g., psychiatry or surgery), who have not completed a residency or who have applied to an area of concentration other than epidemiology at the School of Public Health.

Contract Letter

Please click here for Sample contract letter for admitted applicants.

Further Information

For further program information, please contact Celeste Rogers at or (415) 597-8210.