A major goal of this rotation is to impress upon students the contexts in which a family medicine physician provides care for both acute and chronic illness while emphasizing the value of prevention and wellness. Students are expected to assist in the management of adult, pediatric and geriatric patients. The student will also be given opportunities to perform basic procedures, among them OMT, collection of vaginal specimens and Pap smears, performance of breast, rectal and bimanual examinations, suturing simple lacerations, splint and simple cast application, treatment of verrucae, and skin lesion removal. In select settings, the student may be exposed to more complex procedures such as upper and lower endoscopy, colposcopy, nasal endoscopy and obstetrical procedures and deliveries.
The required rotation in Family Medicine is a core experience for Year III students within the College of Osteopathic Medicine. In year three, students spend two four-week sessions or eight (8) continuous weeks in a structured, predominantly ambulatory experience intended to develop the student’s decision-making and cognitive skills, and to apply didactic material in a clinical setting.
The elective rotation in Family Medicine is a four (4) week rotation during which the student will be given opportunities to further develop clinical skills as described for the required rotation. Most students electing to take this rotation will be in the fourth year of osteopathic medical school.
There are five principles of Family Medicine that define our profession and guide care given to our patients:
- Biopsychosocial Model (Patient-Centered)
Family Medicine is based on a biopsychosocial model that is patient-centered and teaches students to approach patients with sensitivity and responsiveness to culture, age, gender, and disabilities and develops their ability to collect and incorporate appropriate psychosocial, cultural, and family data into patient-centered management plans.
- Comprehensive Care (Whole Person Care)
Family Medicine emphasizes the importance of caring for the whole person by providing opportunities for students to participate in longitudinal, integrated, preventive services and treatment of common acute and chronic medical problems for patients and families in all phases of the life cycle.
- Continuity of Care (Continuous Health Relationships)
Family Medicine values and promotes continuous healing relationships by providing a personal medical home for patients and their families and maintaining ongoing responsibility for the health care of patients and families and facilitating transitions between the primary care provider, referral agencies, and consultants.
- Context of Care (Evidence-Based)
Family Medicine emphasizes the development of patient- and family-centered treatment plans that are evidence-based, safe, and designed to produce high-quality results that enhance functional outcome and quality of life in a culturally responsive manner.
- Coordinator/Complexity of Care (Integration)
The family physician functions as the integrator of complex care and collaborates as a health care team member in disease management, health promotion, and patient education.