Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

General Medicine Service (University Teaching Service-UTS)

General Medicine Service (University Teaching Service-UTS)

General Facts:

  • The University Teaching Service is composed of the four inpatient medicine teams run by the Internal Medicine residents. Although most patients are admitted to the Main 5 teaching floor, some patients go to other units depending on condition and bed availability.

  • The UTS is a wonderful learning experience where the residents experience significant autonomy balanced with appropriate supervision and daily teaching by the attending physician.

  • Throughout the three years of training, each resident spends about 10 months on the UTS. This experience ranges from "bread and butter" medicine patients to very complex cases with rare presentations and pathologies.

  • The UTS works closely with case managers and social workers on Main 5. Interdisciplinary rounds are held twice weekly and include case management, social workers, nurses and pharmacy staff. This interaction helps support documentation and addresses social issues and disposition planning early. These skills are becoming increasingly important in our health care system and are crucial to preparing residents for the future who will be working in a team-based environment.

  • Patient Handoffs are another important skill that must be learned during residency training. We emphasize the process of signing out to colleagues in a professional, accurate and efficient manner. It is an essential tool to secure patient safety and continuity of care.

  • While rotating on the UTS, the residents are required to attend Morning Report, Medicine Grand Rounds and Noon Conferences, all of which provide excellent educational experiences.

Teaching Faculty:

  • Experienced faculty members, including general internists, hospitalists and subspecialists are selected from the Department of Medicine as attendings for the four teams.

  • A full-time Academic Hospitalist service provides residents with exposure to this expanding area of medical practice.

  • Selection of faculty for teaching assignments is based largely on resident evaluations.

  • The residents have the opportunity to work with many excellent, award winning educators.

Team Structure:

  • We have 4 teams taking care of all patients admitted to the UTS - Gold, Diamond, Silver & Sapphire.

  • Each team consists of one teaching attending, one upper level resident (PG2 or PG3), two interns and one or two students. Usually the teams have one Categorical Medicine intern plus one intern from either Neurology, Family Medicine or Transitional Year programs, creating an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and improve the learning experience.

  • Second and third-year residents are responsible for teaching, leadership, and supervision of interns.

  • All residents have the opportunity to attend scheduled sessions designed to enhance their teaching and leadership skills.

Patient Population:

  • Patients admitted to the UTS vary widely in their pathology, background, and socio-economic status.

  • Although Houston Methodist Hospital is a private institution, the UTS is designed for optimum training and many patients are non-resourced and subsequently present with advanced disease. Other patients have private insurance and well established care.

  • The patients are admitted from the Emergency Department, Primary Care Clinic, or as transfers from the medical ICU or outlying facilities for higher level of care.

  • In addition, subspecialists often admit very interesting patients to the UTS, further enhancing the educational experience.

Medical Students:

  • The opportunity and responsibility to teach 3rd & 4th year medical students rotating through UTS develops the residents teaching skills throughout their training.

  • Houston Methodist Hospital is affiliated with Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York, and medical students from Weill Cornell rotate on the UTS during their clerkships.

  • Our program has additional affiliations with University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas A&M Medical University.