Residency Program Requirements for Family Medicine Physicians

Residency Program Requirements

A Family Medicine residency program is essential to become an independent Family Medicine practitioner. Residency programs will be a demanding part of your training. In this program you will gain and develop the skills and knowledge that will lead you to be proficient in all levels of care for your patients. You will also gain valuable experience that will allow you to practice independently and unsupervised in your professional career.

Residency program requirements are outlined by the American Board of Family Medicine. The specific eligibility required in order for a physician to enter a Family Medicine residency training program is identified in the residency guidelines. Your educational requirements for MD and DO degrees must be confirmed by the residency program director. If you are an international graduate, you must show that you have a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduate certificate before you will be able to be appointed to a residency program. You must also hold an unrestricted medical license to practice in the United States – or completed a Fifth Pathway program at a medical school that is accredited by LCME.

Residency Program Requirements:

As a Family Medicine resident, you must be competent with outcome based proficiency in treating their patients of all ages, who present with undiagnosed and undifferentiated presentations that are commonly managed by Family Medicine physicians. Some of the outcome based residency program requirements: 

  • Provide preventative care to their patients.
  • Be proficient in interpreting basic clinical tests and images.
  • Provide initial treatment for emergency medical problems and recognize acute conditions.
  • Understand and use pharmacotherapy effectively and appropriately.
  • Demonstrate competence managing maternity care within the scope of family medicine guidelines.
  • Competently perform surgical, medical and diagnostic procedures that are appropriate for their area of practice.

Resident Experiences:

You will be assigned to a primary family practice site, and will be scheduled to see patients for a minimum of 40 weeks during each year of your program. During this time you will provide primary care to your panel of patients and integrate their care in all settings. Settings include: the family medicine practice site, the patient’s home, long-term and specialty care facilities as well as in-patient facilities. You will need the following to complete your residency:

  • At least 200 hours, two months – or 250 patient encounters dedicated to caring for acutely ill or injured adult patients in an emergency department setting.
  • At least 100 hours, one month – or 125 patient encounters caring for older patients.
  • Patient encounters dedicated to the care of children and adolescents in an ambulatory setting is required. This will be 200 hours, two months – or 250 patient encounters. Including well-child, acute and chronic care. Residents must have at least 40 newborn encounters – including ill, as well as well baby encounters.
  • Surgical patients – at least 100 hours or one month, including hospitalized patients, including operating room experience.
  • Residents must have two months or 200 hours dedicated to patients with musculoskeletal problems, including sports medicine.
  • Women’s health – at least one month, 125 patient encounters or 100 hours of experience with gynecologic issues, well-patient care, family planning and contraception.
  • You must have 200 hours or two months that are documented in providing prenatal and post-partum care.

Resident Educational Activities:

Your sponsoring Family Medicine residency program site will provide you with educational resources to allow you to become involved in continued educational activities.


You are now able to get assistance with creating your match-list by using the Residency Performance summary data which is available online. This will give you the performance data you need to be able to evaluate each specific program by seeing the scores for individual years as well as the national averages. 

Have you completed your residency? Consider Elliot Health System as your next move!

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