​​​Program Director's Welcome

 J. Patricia Dhar, MD

We are excited that you are interested in our program! We are a hard-core, old fashioned, procedural based Internal Medicine program.  We are based at Ascension’s charity hospital, St. Mary’s of Michigan, and we are a great program that focuses on building confidence, leadership, teamwork, and excellent patient care skills. Our program emphasizes bedside teaching and procedural competence.  Residents in our program become competent at managing a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions and become qualified to independently perform intubations, ultrasound guided central lines and arterial line placement. Since we have no fellowships at our center, our Residents directly manage critically ill patients including ventilators, pressors and cardiac medication infusions.  In addition, our Residents perform all the Code Blues at the hospital with the senior Residents serving as team leaders for the Code Blue teams. To train our Residents to become competent in procedures, Code Blues, and managing critically ill patients, Residents attend sessions regularly at our new state-of-the-art Simulation Lab that opened July 2015. At the Sim Lab we train Residents in procedures, and Code Blue leadership. We also have a linear Patient Centered Simulation Course which consists of managing a patient from first encounter to death, with a focus on communication skills and learning to interact with the patient and family during difficult situations. 

Simulation CenterOur academic program covers a broad range of topics that are essential to becoming a competent internist as well as preparation for passing USMLE Step 3 and the ABIM board exam at the end of training. To insure that we have a robust content for learning, we have daily didactics and weekly Grand Rounds given by our faculty as well as excellent subspecialists in the community, along with daily case discussion hour and a new ambulatory didactic program, which focuses on outpatient medicine topics. We have board review monthly (using ACP and MKSAP resources) and a mandatory monthly exam using the “Med Study” question bank/exam program. We also have an academic support program for Residents that need to improve their performance on standardized testing run by the College of Medicine ReDirector of Academic Success. Our program has been successful in our Residents passing their ABIM boards at the end of training.

CMU Health Internal Medicine ResidentsTo improve ambulatory training we recently switched to a  6+2 structure for our program. This means that the Resident will spend 6 weeks continuously on elective or inpatient rotations and followed by 2 weeks in the clinic.  The advantages of this are that Residents do not have to go to clinic while they are on elective or inpatient rotations and when they are in clinic, they do not have responsibilities from the electives or floors. This allows the Resident to focus on the ambulatory clinic. The 2 week ambulatory experience occurs every 6 weeks and allows Residents to have better continuity and availability for their patient panels. The structure of this 2 week block is that Residents will have four half day sessions per week of their primary care clinic, with four half day sessions of “elective” experiences. Friday is academic day with the morning consisting of ambulatory didactics and the afternoon filled with Sim Lab exercises designed to improve competence in procedures, patient care and crisis situations.

We train very competent internists that can perform procedures, manage critical care units on their own, and work in crisis situations. Our Residents match well into all types of fellowships and are recruited and highly desired for hospitalist positions all over the country.

We are proud of all of our Residents and are happy that you will be joining our family. Welcome to our program and welcome to Saginaw!

J. Patricia Dhar, MD
Chief and Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program
Specialty: Rheumatology 
Associate Professor of Medicine 
Central Michigan University College of Medicine 
CMU Medical Education Partners