General Medicine Service (University Teaching Service-UTS)

General Facts

  • The University Teaching Service (UTS) is composed of the five 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).
  • 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.
  • The UTS works closely with case managers and social workers.
  • Interdisciplinary rounds are held daily and include case management, social workers, nurses and pharmacy staff.
  • 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 five 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 five teams taking care of all patients admitted to the UTS: Gold, Diamond, Silver, Sapphire and Emerald.
  • Each team, with the exception of Emerald, consists of one teaching attending, one upper-level resident (PGY2 or PGY3), two interns and one or two students.  The Emerald team provides a unique experience in which two upper-level residents (PGY2 or PGY3) run the team with the help of sub-interns (MS4) and a supervising attending.
  • Usually the teams have one categorical medicine intern, plus one intern from neurology, 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 faculty development 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 is a private institution, the UTS is designed for optimal training and many patients are non-resourced and, subsequently, present with advanced disease.
  • The patients are admitted from the Emergency Department, Primary Care Clinic (PCP), or as transfers from the intensive care unit (ICU) or outlying facilities for a higher level of care.
  • Subspecialists often admit very interesting patients to the UTS from clinic, further enhancing the educational experience.


Medical Students

  • The opportunity and responsibility to teach third- and fourth-year medical students rotating through UTS develops the resident’s teaching skills throughout the training period.
  • Houston Methodist is affiliated with Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine as well as Weill Cornell Medicine.  Medical students rotate on the UTS during their clerkship.
  • Our program has additional affiliations with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.


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