Inside Perspective: Dereck DeLeon, MD

Designing the Senior Years of Medical School

This is a series of first-person pieces from the Permanente physicians on the ground floor of creating the new Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine.

By Dereck J. DeLeon, MD

Who am I?

Dereck J. DeLeon, MD

My name is Dereck DeLeon, and I have been a physician at Kaiser Permanente San Diego for 24 years. During that time, I have been lucky enough to follow my passion for medical education.

I started out in charge of the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Department of Family Medicine Monthly Educational Program. I then became the co-director for Continuing Medical Education (CME) for all of Kaiser Permanente San Diego.

In 2008, I started the first Kaiser Permanente Residency Program in San Diego when I developed the Family Medicine Residency Program. I am also the Kaiser Permanente Southern California regional chair for Diversity and Inclusion in Graduate Medical Education (GME). I have also been a surveyor for the Institute for Medical Quality of the California Medical Association, where I evaluated CME programs statewide. Locally, I co-chair the Kaiser Permanente San Diego GME Committee, and nationally I work with the Association of Family Medicine Residency Program Directors and most recently work on a task force with the American Board of Family Medicine on post-graduate surveys for residency graduates.

What am I doing for the School of Medicine?

My work for the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine is helping to lead the Phase 3 Group, which has the task of designing the last two years of medical school. I am also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion team and the Faculty Development group.

How is it going?

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine has Permanente physicians, administrators, and other health care leaders galvanized around a singular purpose. This collective energy has given life to a unique vision for the future of medical education. I feel blessed to be working with such an inspiring and innovative group.

The last two years of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will be transformative.

This collective energy has given life to a unique vision for the future of medical education. I feel blessed to be working with such an inspiring and innovative group.

Upon graduation, our medical students will be high-functioning residents on day one. Our plan is to prepare these students by providing them significant clinical exposure that will build upon itself with each year. This will culminate with a unique “Residency Preparation” program.

In addition, we will be preparing our students for careers beyond clinical medicine. The “Areas of Distinction” curriculum is a longitudinal exposure in areas like health policy, leadership, and innovation, among others. This will involve masters-level didactics, but more importantly, internships and hands-on experience. Kaiser Permanente medical students will be poised to create and lead the future of medicine on all levels.

Dereck J. DeLeon, MD, is program director for the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Family Medicine Residency Program (Twitter: @KPSDFMR), regional chair of the GME Diversity Committee for Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and associate clinical professor at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine. Visit Dr. DeLeon’s physician’s page.