The Primary Care Track of the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program was founded in July 1985, in order to enhance the outpatient training of internal medicines residents. In the intervening 30 years, the track has evolved to meet the needs of our trainees interested in outpatient medicine. In 2016, we are on the precipice of an evolution in health care delivery in the United States, and primary care will likely undergo dramatic transformation during the professional lifetimes of our current residents. This is an exciting time to participate in the Primary Care Track at UAB, as we evolve our educational offerings to reflect our changing times. Residents interested in primary care are encouraged to apply to UAB and to join our Primary Care Track, so that they may help to shape the future of education in primary care.

Block Months

The Ambulatory Care Block Month is a major distinguishing feature of the Primary Care Track. The purpose is to allow concentrated time in ambulatory medicine without in-patient responsibilities. As opposed to categorical track residents who have one block month each year, primary care track residents have two block months during each of the 3 years of training. During a typical month, approximately 20% of the time is devoted to the continuity practice of general internal medicine. The remainder is devoted to areas such as geriatrics, office gynecology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, dermatology, sexually transmitted diseases, sports medicine, and subspecialty internal medicine clinics. The specialty clinics are selected by the individual resident in the R-2 and R-3 years to suit their needs and interests. The resident has the opportunity to work one-on-one with attending physicians in diverse specialties.

Ambulatory Training

  • Continuity clinic: Primary Care Track residents preferentially have their continuity clinic located in the Kirklin Clinic, which allows them to begin to build a patient panel that is diverse in age, medical conditions, gender, and payor source. Primary Care Track residents may choose to begin a second site continuity clinic at the Birmingham VA in their second year, so as to gain experience working in a single payor health system within a medical home team-based practice.

  • Block Month: The Ambulatory Care Block Month allows for exposure to ambulatory medicine, particularly in subspecialty clinics that may not be routinely encountered in internal medicine training. Residents may choose to spend time working with outpatient dermatologists, orthopedists, allergy/ENT, gynecology, or general internists practicing in diverse settings. 

  • Community Preceptorship: In their R2 or R3 year, residents have the opportunity to spend a month in the private practice of their choice to better understand the rewards and challenges of medical practice.


Primary Care Track residents also participate in a didactic series that is specific to their needs.  This not only allows for further exploration of ambulatory medicine and career opportunities, but also fosters a smaller community of primary care focused residents and faculty within the larger residency program. 

PC Scholars Program

Beginning in 2017, the PC Scholars program is designed for selected PGY2 residents to experience immersion in high performing outpatient practices. PC Scholars residents will replace one ICU month in their second year with an intensive outpatient month. They will have multiple outpatient clinical experiences in this time, as well as work on scholarly products that will provide deeper understanding into primary care needs and healthcare delivery.


The Primary Care Track is a post match option for residents interested in gaining more exposure to ambulatory medicine during residency training. Residents may enter or leave the track during training, depending on their career goals. Residents interested in the PC scholars program will participate in a competitive application process in the Spring of their PGY1 year.  

Contact the Director

Erin Dunn Snyder, MD
Associate Professor, General Internal Medicine