Family Medicine

Our Mission:
A Leader in Family Medicine and Primary Care

The Boston University Department of Family Medicine provides leadership to the development of family medicine and primary care regionally, nationally, and internationally through its education, research, and clinical activities.

Department Overview

Faculty from the Department of Family Medicine have multiple leadership roles with the medical school, including as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and directing the BUSM Office of Medical Education, the first-year Essentials of Public Health, and Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1B, in addition to the Family Medicine Clerkship, the Family Medicine Subinternship, and many pre-clerkship and fourth-year courses and electives.

These courses provide education that prepares all medical students with the training in family medicine necessary to practice effective and high-quality care in any specialty. Pre-clerkship and clerkship curricular foci include point-of-care evidence-based medicine, clinical decision making and problem solving, physical exam and diagnosis, doctor-patient relationship, health law and health policy, community medicine, and ethics.

The department also has a robust and multifaceted program to support students interested in family medicine and primary care careers. This includes a 4-year longitudinal track—FaMeS (Family Medicine Student Track), the Family Medicine Scholars program for students interested in academics, scholarship, and leadership in the field, and a vibrant Family Medicine Interest Group.

Clerkships and Internships

The Department trains medical students and residents for careers as family physicians, and fellows for leadership and research positions in primary care, with special emphasis on preparation to work in multidisciplinary primary care teams responsive to the needs of multicultural communities.

The department has multiple curricular offerings in all four years of the medical school curriculum. These include the Family Medicine Clerkship, the Family Medicine Subinternship, and electives in sports medicine, maternal-child health, outpatient medicine, advanced communication skills, the Healer’s Art course, narrative medicine, research, and others.

Research, Clinical Practice, and Community Involvement

The department has numerous thriving programs and groups that students work with during the various courses and electives. These include the Program for Integrative Medicine and Healthcare Disparities; Project RED (ReEngineered Discharge)—a national model for effectively linking inpatient and outpatient care and reducing hospital readmissions; implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home; and international health and primary care system development, amongst others.

A thriving research division informs improved approaches to the conduct and organization of primary care, with emphasis on problems of the underserved and their communities, care of patients with disabilities, the integration of primary care, inpatient care, public health, mental health, integrative medicine, and other areas.

The Department’s clinical activities cover a broad range of clinical practice, including community health center-based practice, inpatient care, including operative and non-operative obstetrics and adult and pediatric inpatient medicine, student health, occupational health, sports medicine, and others.

The Department’s clinical activities provide the necessary practice-based laboratories and teaching environments, with emphasis on programs that complement the overall mission of Boston Medical Center (BMC), and which are responsive to primary care needs of the greater Boston region, and especially its underserved communities.

The Department works closely with the Boston HealthNet and community health centers, regional community hospital-based residencies, the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, the Boston and Massachusetts Departments of Health, the Boston University School of Public Health, other primary care groups within and outside of BMC, and the BMC leadership to evolve a coordinated regional primary care system responsive to population needs.