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Over the fifty years since family medicine was founded as a discipline the complexity of the care we provide has markedly increased. Patients are older and sicker, the range of diagnostic and therapeutic options available to us has grown dramatically, and the advent of medical informatics, population health, and team-based care have all resulted in the need for family physicians to have a much broader and deeper skill set. However, the structure and length of the traditional three year training model has not changed significantly. Further, the advent of duty hour restrictions has resulted in a 20% decrease in total training time over the past decade.
To counteract these forces and provide our residents with all the skills necessary to easily transition to practice and maintain a broad scope of care, we offer an expanded four year curriculum. By "making the box bigger" we are able to include both an enhanced core and dedicated time for residents to pursue their individual passions. Additional time in training also provides substantially increased clinical experience before entry into practice.
Our core curriculum includes everything offered by the traditional residency model. In addition, we offer six core rotations in areas we perceive as most needed by graduates- pediatrics and practice management.
Our Tracks of Excellence provide each resident with seven blocks of time during their third and fourth year of training to explore areas of personal passion or future practice need. This time can be taken in blocks or extended longitudinally over the two years. Residents continue to care for their continuity patients in the office and hospital during this time and attend our weekly conferences.
Since our additional year of training occurs when residents are maximally skilled and productive, they leave our program with 40% more clinical exposures than possible in the traditional model. This increase in experience makes the transition to independent practice substantially more rapid and smooth.
Bottom line: Residents leave our program with significantly deeper and broader knowledge and experience and the confidence that results in a smooth transition to practice.