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Academic Primary Care

What Is An Academic Primary Care Center?

UCSD Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine is one of the University’s Academic Primary Care Centers and the main teaching center for UCSD medical students, and residents doing their outpatient pediatric and adolescent medicine rotations. This center provides a rich learning environment that blends up-to-date clinical medicine, research, and advocacy for children and youth. In this setting, the UCSD pediatricians and adolescent specialists teach both current and future physicians by modeling their own patient care as well as mentoring students and residents as they develop skills and techniques in caring for patients.


In addition to our full-time medical faculty, there are medical students and physicians with varying levels of training that work in an Academic Primary Care Center. Following is a brief description of each level of training:

Medical Student: Each student in their 3rd year of medical school does a month of outpatient pediatric and adolescent medicine. These students have completed two years of intense classroom training and have taken the first part of the National Medical Board exam. Occasionally, a student in their 4th year of medical school takes an additional elective month of outpatient pediatrics or adolescent medicine to strengthen their skills in these areas.

Intern: An intern has graduated from medical school and is in his or her first post-graduate year of specialty training (residency). Interns have taken two of the three parts of the National Medical Board exam.

Resident: A resident is in the 2nd year or later of his or her specialty training. The UCSD Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine faculty participates in both the Pediatric and combined Pediatric/Internal Medicine residency training programs. By the 3rd year of training these residents have completed the National Medical Board exam and are licensed physicians in the state of California.

Does My Child Have to See a Student or Resident?

Many of the teaching faculty have designated sessions when they see patients on their own. You may request that your child or teenager have an appointment in one of these time slots. However, even if your child is seen by a student or resident, they will ALWAYS be seen by one of the teaching faculty at each visit. It is our firm belief that this collaborative approach to caring for children and teenagers is what makes UCSD Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine both unique as well as on the “cutting edge” of excellent medical care for the children and youth of the Greater San Diego area.