The Division of General Medicine at Columbia University was founded in 1977, and its faculty group primary care practice, the Associates in Internal Medicine, was begun in 1979. The Division's major activities during the 1980s were in clinical care of community residents and training the Department of Medicine's house staff. In 1992 major departmental resources were allocated to the reinvigoration of the Division, and Dr. Steven Shea became Division Chief. Over the next few years, several full-time research faculty were recruited to the Division. In 1992, successful grant applications were made to HRSA for faculty development (D08/D55) and fellowship training (T32 NRSA) programs, and these grants have served as the major funding sources for our fellowship program. The Division's faculty has expanded to include the Hospitalist group. There are now more than 100 faculty whose appointments are within the Division of General Medicine. Of these, approximately 25 are based in the Division's faculty group practice, the Associates in Internal Medicine. These faculty play major roles in house staff and fellowship training in primary care and in medical student education in Foundations of Clinical Medicine and the Primary Care clerkship.
The Division presently has over fifteen faculty with their own grants or with major research activities. This group includes faculty in the Division's Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, the Center for Aging and Health Disparities, led by Dr. Jose Luchsinger, the Program in Pulmonary Epidemiology, led by Dr. Graham Barr, and the Program in Narrative Medicine, led by Dr. Rita Charon. Faculty in these programs serve as training faculty for post-doctoral fellows. The Division's research program occupies approximately 6,000 sf of space that also houses the Division's database manager, grants administrator, several research coordinators and project assistants, and the Division's research conference room. Within this complex, each fellow has his or her own desk space, and is provided with a personal computer including word processing, database, and statistical software. Through a high speed internet connection fellows can access Columbia University's extensive on-line research facilities.
In 2015, Graham Barr, M.D., Dr.P.H, became Divisional Chief. The Division will invest in recruitment of research faculty over the next several years in order to further expand its research base. Areas of focus include pulmonary and cardiovascular epidemiology, health disparities, dementia, narrative medicine, practice-based research, and quality of care.