Frequently Asked Questions

What is call like?

We have instituted an eight-day cycle with 3 call days per cycle with teams admitting up to 4, 6, or 10 patients depending on the call day in the cycle. Each team consists of one resident, two interns, and one or two medical students. A hard cap is instituted at 10 patients per intern. Housestaff get one day off per week averaged over the month. The Olive View-UCLA Program adheres to the duty hour limits established by ACGME. Interns are not permitted to work more than 16 hours consecutively, and residents no more than 28 hours. A unique feature of our program is our nurse practitioners who facilitate discharges and system-based issues.

What are the call rooms like?

Each intern and resident who is in the hospital overnight has access to call rooms, which include a computer, desk, alarm clock, phone, and memory foam mattress bed. Careful attention has been made to aesthetics.

Is food provided on call?

Each intern/resident gets a daily meal allowance to use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which is available 365 days a year. Our cafeteria is known as one of the better hospital cafeterias in Los Angeles (check out our "breakfast burrito").

What is the patient population like?

Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is a county hospital, and patients tend to come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Many patients are indigent and uninsured, and present with acute, undiagnosed illnesses. Housestaff see common presentations of unusual diseases as well as unusual presentations of common diseases.

How much continuity of care is provided for the patients?

Continuity of care is very important to our program. Interns and residents have continuity clinics at both Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and the Mid-Valley Comprehensive Health Center, a full service ambulatory care center.

Are interpretors available at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center?

About 30% of our patients are Spanish-speakers but we also have patients from many other countries throughout the world. Many patients bring in translators and many staff members speak more than one language. Video- and speakerphone-based live interpretation services are available (pictured) which provide our clinicians with instantaneous human translation in over 30 languages.

What is the difference between the preliminary and categorical interns’ schedules?

There is minimal distinction between preliminary and categorical residents when making the schedule. The schedules are virtually identical, except that categorical residents spend two additional months in the ICU or medical ward at Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center. The ambulatory medicine and continuity clinic experience is identical. Our goal is to provide the best training possible, regardless of future plans. It is expected that any intern who completes our preliminary training program would be competent to continue on in internal medicine.

Do I have to do a Sub-internship to get a spot in your program?

We do not require that applicants do a sub-internship. However, it is encouraged because it allows you to get to know the program. Similarly, it allows us to get to know you, which may put you in a higher match position than a similarly qualified applicant.

How much time would I spend at sites other than Olive View-UCLA Medical Center?

Currently categorical interns do 2-week rotations in both the CCU and MICU plus a 4-week rotation at the Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center. Some preliminary interns do ward rotations at RR-UCLA. Residents generally spend one month in the CCU and/or MICU at RR-UCLA and every resident will rotate for one month on inpatient geriatrics at Santa Monica-UCLA Hospital or West Los Angeles VA. Additional electives at UCLA and other sites are available.

Where do residents go when they finish the program?

For those residents who choose fellowship subspecialities, most choose Southern California programs, while others choose fellowships in other parts of the country. Our graduates match in top competitive fellowship programs. In recent years, we have seen a trend in choosing general internal medicine immediately after residency. See a complete list of where our housestaff go after graduation.

Can I do research and is it required?

Residents are encouraged to do research in any field of their choice and are given the time to do so. No resident is required to do a bench research elective. However, it is required that housestaff in the categorical tracks participate in some creative or scholarly activity while in training. Please see the Research & Academics section on this website.

How much responsibility are residents allowed?

We have a system that promotes a gradual increase in the responsibility towards patient care. Interns are closely supervised by the residents, but are encouraged to actively make decisions about the care of patients. In the second year, residents make decisions about patient care with the assistance of the attending physician. By the third year, residents are expected to be able to make appropriate choices, using the attending as a consultant. Obviously, this is an overly simplistic description of the maturation process, as all residents differ in their capabilities and comfort level in making independent decisions. The significant autonomy that residents enjoy at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is well balanced with active attending supervision. The attending physician is still ultimately responsible for all decisions and takes an active role in patient care. Attendings are available 24/7.

What are the attendings like?

All attending physicians hold faculty appointments at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The faculty members are divided into two tracks. One is the traditional research-oriented academic career, where the faculty members devote a good proportion of their time to basic science or clinical research. Many of the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center faculty are nationally known in their area of expertise. The second category is the clinician-educator track, which encompasses a large majority of our faculty. Under this plan, faculty members are promoted based on their teaching abilities and creative activities. Many have gained local and national recognition for their creativity related to innovations in medical education and health services research. Having both types of faculty give the program an excellent balance between research and up-to-date clinical teaching in the specialties and in general medicine. The attendings at Olive View-UCLA are known for their enthusiasm for teaching. They have great camaraderie with the medical students and housestaff and are known to host social events at their homes and even play weekly basketball at our own on-site basketball court.

What do the housestaff think of the program?

The housestaff are active participants in all the decisions regarding the program, and its goals and guidelines generally reflect the residents’ needs. It would be easy to say that they are satisfied with the program. However, all programs have both their strengths and weaknesses. We strongly believe in our program and suggest that you ask the housestaff how they feel about it when you visit. You can also view some of their comments about the program here.

Do you have any specific requirements to be considered for an interview?

The Olive View-UCLA Program recruits high caliber applicants, with excellent academic records, coupled with a strong commitment to the community. For Categorical and Preliminary applicants, we require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation, including a Department of Medicine Chair Letter. USMLE is strongly recommended in lieu of COMLEX scores (there are no minimum score requirements). A PTAL or California letter is required prior to the application process. Unfortunately, we do not sponsor any visas. All applications must be submitted through ERAS.