Family Medicine Residency

Goals & Objectives of the Program

The goal of the BUSM/BMC Department of Family Medicine Residency Program is to prepare future physicians for productive careers by emphasizing multidisciplinary efforts that integrate comprehensive primary care and public health approaches to the needs of patients, families, and their communities. The department is committed to developing care within the context of the patient’s family, and where appropriate, care of the family as a unit. To exemplify the best in family medicine, competence, continuity and comprehensiveness permeate the everyday clinical activities of staff, residents and medical students.

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Intern Juliana Castedo (from left), resident Stephanie Charles, intern Julie Bartolomeo (MED’15), and Veronica Torres (MED’16) at work at Boston Medical Center in July. Photo by Cydney Scott

Commitment to the Urban Underserved

Boston Medical Center has a long-standing commitment to addressing the health needs of the community. The medical center was created in 1996 from the merger of Boston City Hospital, the oldest municipal hospital in the United States and Boston University Medical Center. Currently, BMC is the largest safety net hospital in New England, with approximately 73% of our patients coming from low-income and under resourced populations. The patient population also reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of Boston and the surrounding communities, and includes a number of recent immigrants and refuges. In house interpreters are available 24/7 in over 30 languages. The hospital sees thousands of interpreter visits annually, with the most requested languages being Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese Creole.

The Family Medicine Residency Program continues to build on this legacy of service by providing a comprehensive, evidenced-based, primary care curriculum that recognizes the social determinants of health that influence the way our patients experience illness. Our goal is to train clinically excellent family physicians who are dedicated to social justice and improving the health of Boston’s underserved communities and beyond. More than 50% of our program’s graduates currently practice in underserved settings or federally designated physician shortage areas.

“I chose to come to BMC because I wanted to practice urban under-served medicine, and at BMC you actually have the resources to practice medicine the way that it should be practiced (and the way you want to practice).  Everyone is aware of the social determinants of health, and there are people and resources helping to make sure that those get addressed right alongside the medicine.” -Elizabeth Doran PGY-1

Patient-centered Primary Care at Federally Qualified Health Centers

BMC is a founding partner of Boston HealthNet, a network of 15 community health centers through Boston serving more than a quarter million people annually. Family medicine residents have the privilege of delivering primary care at one of three state-of-the-art Patient Centered Medical Homes: Codman Square Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health center, and South Boston Community Health Center. While each health center is uniquely reflective of the community where it is located, they all feature a breadth of on-site resources such as behavioral health and psychiatry, radiology, vision and dental services, sub-specialty care, and wellness programs, in order to provide a comprehensive, patient-centered primary care that empowers individuals to lead healthy lives.

From the first day of training, residents are assigned a panel of patients distributed by age, gender, and diagnosis so that over three years residents are exposed to a broad patient base. This experience is at the core of the residency program. All community health centers are located minutes away from the medical center and offer diverse patient populations, teaching opportunities and learning experiences for residents. First year residents will care for their panel of patients at least two half days per week; second year residents care for their panel of patients 2-4 sessions per week; and third year residents 3-5 times per week. Residents are responsible for patients in whatever setting they present, whether office, home, nursing home or tertiary care center. This orientation also extends to addressing unmet health care needs in our community, including coordination with schools, churches, and industry, and conducting innovative outreach to vulnerable populations. A strong emphasis is placed on the active management of patients within integrated service systems, especially as they apply to the needs of the underserved.