Here at UNC Family Medicine, we train full scope family practice physicians. Our Department provides both comprehensive inpatient and outpatient training, including training in maternal health, behavioral health, practice management and geriatrics. We also build time into the schedule so that residents can explore electives, and tailor the program to their unique path. Explore our program components below.
The department also runs a maternal and child health (MCH) service for the patients of our continuity practices as well as those who seek their prenatal care at partnering community practices/health departments. The MCH service also provides physician backup to a freestanding birthing center staffed by midwives. Emphasis is on longitudinal care of both the mother and baby throughout the pregnancy and after birth.
During their Maternal/Child Health rotations on this service, residents work with Family Medicine faculty to develop skills in continuity and family-oriented obstetrics, outpatient gynecology, neonatology, developmental pediatrics, and adolescent care. One of the most rewarding experiences of this rotation is the care of the family unit, from the prenatal visits to the newborn weight checks. Continuity is built into the curriculum at multiple levels. Initially, each mother is assigned an MCH team, comprised of 3-4 residents, based on her due date and when those residents are on service. This ensures patients have met their provider prior to delivery. Following delivery, the mom-baby diad follow up with a member of their MCH team in clinic. Residents work one-on-one with attendings in an apprenticeship model of care.
We are thrilled to announce that in August of 2017, the Family Medicine Center has been awarded the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBC) Mother-Baby Award for outpatient healthcare clinics! This award recognizes excellence in support of breastfeeding in the outpatient setting.
In the first year, residents gain experience with inpatient medicine in two hospitals, UNC Hospital and Wake Med Hospital-a community hospital in Raleigh. Residents rotate on our busy Family Medicine Inpatient Service (FMIS) and Observation Unit at UNC Hospitals, where they take care of FMC patients and patients from community practices. The experience at Wake Med Hospital provides an excellent opportunity for residents’ training in Pediatrics, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology (To Curriculum Summary
). All second year inpatient training is done at UNC Hospital. During the third year, residents have the additional opportunity to practice rural inpatient medicine at nearby Chatham Hospital.
Resident training is enriched through a variety of outpatient experiences that help to hone our geriatric skills, learn the unique healthcare needs of migrant farmworkers in North Carolina, enhance procedural skills, and sports medicine evaluations. A four-week block in the second year provides residents with exposure to rural and under-served populations, and opportunities to learn techniques for Quality Improvement and practice management skills. Another six-week block in third year is devoted to developing an understanding of how to improve quality of care in an outpatient practice through group projects that have ranged from developing preventive care guidelines, to finding ways to adapt the chronic disease model of care into this practice.
The behavioral health curriculum is longitudinal and designed for residents to think and learn about behavioral health issues throughout residency. The curriculum includes teaching in the inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, individual one-on-one meetings with behavioral health faculty, community visits, structured didactics, and select readings. There is also a unique experience to provide primary care, detox, and behavioral health care at WakeBrook, an inpatient and crisis unit in Raleigh. The combination of didactic and clinical activities is designed to create an appreciation for the role of behavioral health in primary care and to provide a diverse and challenging educational experience.
As an ongoing part of residents’ development, practice management is incorporated into all three years of the program. Time is allocated in the second and third years to learn the principles of practice management, visit community practices, and learn career planning. Seminars, workshops and other conferences on practice management topics are a regular part of the conference curriculum. Residents also have the opportunity to learn about systems-based practice by attending monthly team and all clinic business meetings. During second and third years of training, our exposure to leadership within the clinic expands as we become involved in the clinic supervisors meeting as well as by leading the monthly team meetings.
Geriatrics is taught by an interdisciplinary group of family physician faculty and faculty from the geriatrics fellowship program. Longitudinal components throughout the three years include didactic sessions during R1 and R2 family medicine months, consulting with the inpatient palliative care service, home visits, and dedicated time to visit with an assigned nursing home.
The final major component of the curriculum is the conference didactic schedule. Weekly departmental conferences are conducted Wednesday mornings during protected time from clinical responsibilities. As part of their commitment to our education, faculty run the inpatient and MCH services while residents attend conference. The conferences are organized around rotating monthly themes, and include pertinent clinical cases.
Three months of elective time during the second and third years of residency provide individuals with plenty of opportunity to tailor the program to meet their particular educational needs. Residents have used the time to round out a variety of areas of outpatient medicine, take an intensive inpatient rotation, explore international medicine, explore practices in communities where they may consider employment after residency, as well as acquiring an understanding of complementary and alternative health care.
Updated October 2020