medical residencies


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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Top Opportunities for Medical Students

Top Opportunities for Medical Students

You work extremely hard in high school to make sure you get into a good college. Then you work extremely hard in college to get the grades and recommendations necessary to get into med school. Then, after you get into med school, you find you really didn’t know what hard work was. Now you’re thinking about residencies and trying to decide what you really want to do when you finally grow up. Some of the top opportunities for medical students do not involve clinical practice.

Opportunities for medical students depend to a great extent on where you started. Your background, culture, whether you’re from a rural, urban or small town environment, all have significant influence on your goals. People with rural or small town ties are more likely to want to go back to that type of environment to practice and often pick primary care, especially Family Practice. Individuals who came from the inner city may want to dedicate their lives to helping the people they grew up with. But whatever dreams you have, there are a myriad of choices.

Residencies: The usual route.

  • Primary care – Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Ob-Gyn, Pediatrics, Med-Peds.
  • General surgery – The starting point for most surgical specialties and subspecialities. If you just want to do surgery in a rural area with a small hospital, you will be ready to start your practice.
  • Orthopedic surgery, emergency medicine, other normal residencies
  • Transitional year – Basically this is a year of internship, a year of medical and surgical rotations to give the future dermatologist, radiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist or anesthesiologist experience beyond the narrow confines of his field.

But there are other paths to follow, some rather off the beaten track.

  • MD/JD joint degrees – After completing med school, it would seem difficult to keep on going to school, but the opportunities and the financial benefits for someone with both a medical and a law degree are tremendous. There are many areas of law in which the dual degrees will make you an expert, most obviously healthcare. But management of medical organizations and academic careers in both medicine and law are possibilities as well.
  • Other combined MD degrees – Adding a PhD, MBA (Master of Business Administration), MPH (Master of Public Health) or an MPA ( Master of Public Administration) opens up a multitude of career paths outside of the usual medical practice.
  • Administration – With or without a residency a medical degree can open doors to a job as an administrator, especially in hospitals or healthcare organizations. A second degree such as a MPA or MBA can be obtained later to advance your career.
  • Pharmaceutical company executive – The drug companies are looking for MDs with administrative skills.
  • Medical consultant – An expert is needed by architects, healthcare planners, authors, film producers and multiple government agencies to sort out the language and concepts.
  • Public service – Otherwise known as a political career, this is a definite possibility for those with public speaking abilities and strong political beliefs.

There are a huge number of training programs available to improve your leadership skills, improve your writing and business talents, turn you into an orator and start you on a course that may take you a long way towards your dreams.

And if you decide you really do want to practice medicine in one of its many forms, there are companies that specialize in helping doctors get established wherever they want to live. New England, the Southwest, the Gulf Coast – pick your own version of paradise.

Want to learn more about opportunities with Elliot Health System?

Learn More About Elliot Physician Opportunities