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How to apply

ERAS#: 1400500917

NRMP#: 1877140C0

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Welcome letter

I am thrilled to welcome you to the Riverside Community Hospital/University of California, Riverside School of Medicine (RCH/UCR School of Medicine), Internal Medicine Residency Program website! Located in sunny Southern California, we offer both categorical Internal Medicine and Preliminary Year positions.

Our Internal Medicine Residency Program started in July 2016 and we anticipate a long tradition of excellence in education and patient care. GME is a crucial pillar of RCH mission and our program offers the best of both worlds: academic level training in a wellness-oriented, community-based learning environment. Our first-class graduated in 2019 and we are very proud of our alumni’s accomplishments.

Riverside Community Hospital is a tertiary referral center for myocardial infarction, stroke, sepsis and trauma and a regional medical affiliate of the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. Our residents see a diverse patient population and pathology, which allows them to develop skills and scholarly interests in various subspecialties. Our rapidly growing research infrastructure supports residents’ involvement in research and Quality Improvement projects. We have quickly increased our trainees’ presence at national meetings, and strive to continue this trend. We expect that the planned addition of specialty fellowships and the collaboration with the UCR School of Medicine will increase our research footprint and provide our residents with even more opportunities.

Residents in our program will learn from a committed and talented faculty who are both excellent clinicians and dedicated educators. Additionally, our program prioritizes a commitment to excellence and the support of each resident’s individual personal and professional goals. We strive to employ all of our residents with the necessary skills to be role models of self-care and wellness, as they promote the well-being of the patients they serve.

Alina Popa, MD

Thanks again for visiting our website. I hope that this has helped give you a sense of the program and the people that train and work here. If you’re interested in a residency program where education will be a priority, you will have a balanced workload, receive a lot of autonomy, and have close, congenial relationships with your colleagues and teachers, we welcome your ERAS application!

Looking forward to meeting you!

Alina Popa, MD, FACP, FHM
Program Director, RCH/UCR SOM Internal Medicine Residency Program

About our program

At a glance:

  • 45 Categorical Internal Medicine Residents, 15 per year
  • 10 Preliminary Residents
  • Orientation Dates: Last week of June
  • Start Date: July 1st
  • Primary Training Sites:
    • Inpatient – Riverside Community Hospital, and Continuity Clinic
    • Riverside Medical Clinic and Platinum Providers Medical Group
  • Academic affiliation with the most recently accredited medical school in California, the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
  • Highly qualified faculty from both academic and community settings, providing a unique training experience in a variety of practice settings and patient payer mix
  • Rotations in Cardiology, Critical Care, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Pulmonary Disease, Rheumatology, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine
  • Night float structure limiting the length of call
  • All rotation sites conveniently located in Riverside
  • Highly competitive resident salary, benefits and perks

Mission statement


The Riverside Internal Medicine Residency program’s mission is to develop the next generation of physicians and physician leaders. As a part of HCA Healthcare, we are driven by a single mission: Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

This program is designed to offer residents a rewarding, educational environment where residents are provided individualized learning opportunities by faculty and staff who support and sustain one another throughout quality care delivery. Our faculty are committed to ensuring the residents' clinical experience and educational needs are fulfilled while expanding residents’ perspectives to be inclusive of cultures, values, and ideals.

List of leadership and faculty

  • Program Director: Alina Popa, MD, FACP, FHM
  • Associate Program Director: Julie Rankin Dominguez, MD
  • Scott Kubomoto, MD
  • Andrew Hwang, MD
  • Matthew Schrader, DO, MPH
  • Rasiq Zackria, DO
  • Core Faculty:
    • Mohammad Kharazmi, MD
    • Hoveda Mufti, MD
    • Chimezie Ubbaonu, MD
    • Remus Popa, MD
  • Sub Specialty Education Coordinators:
    • Ahmed El-Bershawi, MD, SSEC: Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
    • Andre Babajanians, MD, SSEC: Rheumatology
    • Andrew Corr, MD, SSEC: Geriatrics
    • Arbi G. Ohanian, M.D., M.S., SSEC: Neurology
    • Eric Choi, MD, SSEC: Gastroenterology
    • Haresh S. Jhangiani, MD, FACP, MBA, SSEC: Oncology
    • John A. Robertson, MD, SSEC: Nephrology
    • Mimi Sen Biswas, MD, SSEC: Cardiology
    • Rehana Baqai, MD, SSEC Hematology
    • Sudhakar V. Mallela, MD, SSEC: Infectious Disease
  • Faculty Members
  • UCR Hospitalist:
    • Anousheh Ashouri, MD
    • Sahar Eivaz-Mohammadi, MD
    • Samia Faiz, MD
    • Masoumeh Ghaffari, MD
    • Rajesh Gulati, MD
    • Christine Mikhail, MD
    • Gregory Shimizu, MD
  • Continuity Clinic:
    • John Agtuca, DO
    • Melanie Crane, MD
    • Leah G. Hopkins, MD
    • Laura Nieves, MD
  • Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine:
    • Zeron Ghazarian, MD
    • Rohit Godbole, MD
  • Nephrology:
    • Rizwan Badar, MD
    • Dalia Dawoud, MD
    • Ishak Salam, MD
    • Taher Khalil, MD
  • Cardiology:
    • Nader Attia, DO
    • Jeremy Cox, DO
    • Patrick Hu, MD
    • Kaustubh Patankar, MD
    • Sandeep Sangodkar, MD
    • Christopher Seaman, MD
  • Infectious Disease:
    • Jon Persichino, DO
  • Hematology/Oncology:
    • Brian Choi, MD
    • Syed Rahmanuddin, MD
    • Anas Raowas, MD
    • Evangeline Reyes, MD

Program overview

Philosophy: The core competencies of ACGME (patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, systems-based practice, interpersonal and communication skills, and practice-based learning and improvement) are the cornerstones of our residency program.

With these competencies in mind, we have established a curriculum that draws on clinical experiences and encompasses case-based discussions, web-based learning, simulation, and lectures. We are confident that with these tools, you will become excellent internists and lifelong self-directed learners to adjust to the constantly changing skyline for health care.

Conference schedule

Education: The learning environment will include both inpatient and various outpatient venues, thus giving you a flavor of different practice styles and a diverse patient base. The designed curriculum puts emphasis on education over service and includes:

  • Hopkins Modules
  • Daily morning reports
  • Daily noon conferences
  • Monthly tumor board/morbidity and mortality conferences
  • Monthly board practice exam
  • Monthly journal clubs
  • Monthly on-going lecture series including specialty presentations
  • Friday school, a biweekly Internal Medicine Board review session

We also encourage scholarly development through poster presentations, case reports, and case presentations at local, regional and national conferences. We have a focused subspecialty education curriculum. Resident update and feedback sessions, as well as career preparation and practice management sessions are held on a regular basis to complete your educational experience.

Rotations: You will rotate to Riverside Community Hospital for your inpatient rotations and provide continuity of care in your outpatient clinics at Riverside Medical Clinic and Platinum Providers Medical Group.

Within our program, we have instituted the “4+1” system. The year is divided into 10, five-week blocks. The first four weeks of your block are devoted towards, electives or ICU/ER rotations. The last week (5th week or the +1 week) of the block is devoted solely to your outpatient/ambulatory continuity clinics. There are five teams in our program, and each team shifts blocks on a staggered basis. This means that one team will always be on their “+1 week”. The other four teams will be in their “4 week block rotations.” As one team rotates off of their “+1 week” another team rotates onto their “+1 week”. Please see below a sample rotation schedule.

The “4” week blocks

During the first four weeks of a block, you will do wards, electives, ER, ICU, etc. just like you would in most programs. The difference with our program is that there is no clinic during these blocks. Each day you will arrive on the rotation (wards, electives, etc.) and be able to truly focus on that rotation. Since neither you nor your resident will have clinic, you will have the focus you need to fully engage in the management of your patients.

The “+1” week

During the fifth week of each block, you will rotate onto your “+1 clinic week.” It is during this time that your continuity clinics will occur. The ten half days of this week (mornings and afternoons, Monday - Friday) are divided in the following proportions: 5 to 6 half days devoted to your general medicine continuity clinics, 1 to 2 half-days devoted to a longitudinal subspecialty clinic of your choice, and two half days of devoted education/didactics, including one focused on Internal Medicine Board review.

IM categorical & preliminary rotation schedule*

Preliminary Internal Medicine Residency Program

Our Preliminary Medicine residency program is available for residents seeking a yearlong training experience within Internal Medicine prior to pursuing other specialties. The Preliminary Medicine residency program is similar to the 1st year categorical residency program. Our preliminary residents will NOT rotate through outpatient continuity clinics (i.e. the + 1 week). In exchange for continuity clinic, our preliminary residents will have additional weeks of electives and inpatient medicine wards. Internal medicine preliminary residents act in the same capacity as categorical residents, and are also involved in teaching of medical students.

A sample preliminary resident schedule is outlined above.

Note: We strive to structure the Preliminary Medicine residents’schedules in a way that allows adequate time totransition to their advanced programs.

In addition to clinical rotations, Preliminary Medicine residents actively participate along with categorical residents in the educational activities listed above.

Curriculum and rotation schedule

Internal medicine curriculum

The curriculum is based on the six core competencies of ACGME (patient care, medical knowledge, professionalism, systems-based practice, interpersonal and communication skills, and practice-based learning and improvement). Our aim is to make sure that residents acquire a graduated level of autonomy, and improve their knowledge base and confidence as they progress from their PGY1 to PGY3 years.

A specific curriculum has been developed for each of the following rotations:

  • Wards – General Internal Medicine
  • Continuity Clinic
  • MICU
  • Cardiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neurology
  • CCU
  • Geriatrics
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Night Float
  • Rheumatology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Endocrinology