About the Kaiser Program


About the Boston University School of Medicine/Kaiser Permanente Collaboration

Boston University School of Medicine is initiating two new clinical clerkship sites in California for third-year medical students at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center San Jose and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Santa Clara.

Beginning in May 2015, 12 third-year students will begin their clerkships at Kaiser after an orientation with their classmates in Boston. 6 will stay for a full year, while 6 will stay for half of the year.

In addition to an excellent clinical experience, the Kaiser Campus Third Year Curriculum Program will provide students with unique opportunities related to healthcare technology, preventive medicine, and a progressive healthcare delivery model. Students will have the opportunity to develop electronic health system mastery, participate in quality improvement training programs, and develop their own quality improvement projects. The partnership with Kaiser will enhance BUSM’s mission of social justice and service, and continue its tradition of commitment to under-served patient populations.

Kaiser has revolutionized healthcare and healthcare technology, resulting in more immediate and responsive patient care. A leader in patient safety and quality improvement, the Kaiser system has been the model for the future of medicine. Their focus on preventive care and an outpatient centered care model results in reductions in hospital admissions and testing.

“We are delighted to be able to offer our students the opportunity to work in an innovative and evidenced-based system that is committed to high-value, high-quality medical care,” said Karen Antman, MD, BUSM dean and provost of the BU Medical Campus.

The third year clinical rotations will take place at two Kaiser Permanente Hospitals. At the San Jose site, students will rotate in family medicine, OB/GYN, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology. At the Kaiser hospital in Santa Clara, students will complete rotations in pediatrics, surgery, radiology and psychiatry.

Despite the distance from the main BUSM South End campus, students will receive uniform didactic instruction. Program Manager Monica Parker-James has been expertly coordinating the online educational experiences. Lectures will be recorded for reviewing as the time difference allows. The students will also be able to participate in live small group discussions and case vignettes with LYNC access. Recorded sessions will be available for review when the students are studying for exams to further enhance their clerkship experience.

Dr. Harley Goldberg will be the Assistant Dean of this program. He will coordinate the training and supervision of the students while in California. Doctor Goldberg has a long history of service in the Kaiser system and is involved in quality evaluations at San Jose. He will work with students via video conferencing prior to June and will orient and mentor the students during their time in the Kaiser facilities. He has been working closely with the BUSM Kaiser Committee and clerkship directors to provide a seamless transition for the students.

Assistant Dean Paige Curran in the Office of Student Affairs has been managing issues related to student mental and physical health, academic support, and career development. She will continue to monitor the students through online communication and quarterly visits to California when then students are in place.

Although this program is new for BU, Kaiser has a strong and well-established medical education framework that includes students from Stanford, UCSF, UCD, and Drexel. The students who have participated in a similar program through Drexel have been thrilled with the experience and the opportunities provided.

The BUSM students will have faculty support while in California and many will also be close to family and friends. In addition, the Kaiser Committee is working to establish a California BUSM alumni network for additional student support, mentoring, and career development. Several alumni have already expressed interest including Assistant Professor Veronica Santini BUSM class of 2000 who is a neurologist in practice at Stanford.

“We are impressed by how vested our counterparts in California are in making this a successful partnership,” said Anna Hohler, MD, assistant dean of academic affairs at BUSM. “This collaboration is a win win. Kaiser will work with students who are smart, dedicated, and professional. Our students will train in a leading health care system that shares our commitment to high-quality medical education, devotion to diverse patient populations, and a vision for excellence in healthcare. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our students.”