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Program Highlights

Watkins precepting

Clinical Training

  • Outpatient Continuity Practice—Throughout the program, residents spend at least two half-days per week in their continuity practice sites. Residents are fully incorporated into regular team meetings where we focus on how to improve quality of care for the patients we serve.
  • Adult Inpatient Medicine—A total of six months of inpatient medicine and one month of ICU. All medicine rotations supervised by our family physician faculty. Morning Report and Noon Conference (lunch provided) five days per week.
  • Obstetrics—40-60 deliveries in the first two blocks of internship. Opportunity to train with obstetricians, family physicians and nurse midwives. Two family medicine Maternal and Child Health fellows per year add to the educational milieu.
  • Pediatrics—Wide variety of experiences which include two months in a high volume pediatric emergency department, inpatient, outpatient and community-based programs. Total of six months of experience.

Tracks & Areas of Concentration

Global Health Track

Erin Lineman and Elizabeth Terragnoli in Honduras

Erin Lineman and Elizabeth Terragnoli in Honduras

Established in 2003, this track prepares highly motivated and accomplished residents to care for underserved populations anywhere in the world.  Up to six interested residents per class are selected to enter the global health track.  Each Fall and Spring trip usually has 7-8 residents traveling to work at the site.  While further detail can be found on the global health page of this site we would like to highlight a few important features of this track:

  • Didactic training  occurs in the US to prepare residents for working in international sites.
  • GHT residents make 2 trips during their residency to work in an underserved setting in Honduras, which is the primary overseas site.
  • Travel expenses and insurance are covered by the Program for times spent overseas.
  • Department faculty teaches the didactic sessions as well as travels to Honduras with the residents.
  • Training is also available to residents who want to participate in an international experience but do not wish to commit to the full GHT program.

Maternal & Child Health Track

Maternal and Child HealthOne of the long standing strengths of our program, maternal and child health, has remained an important focus with extensive obstetrical training for those residents who are particularly interested in including OB in their future practices. Some of the highlights of this track include:

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology training occurs at Highland Hospital, a community hospital where residents generally accumulate experience with 40-60 deliveries in their required two blocks on service in the first year.
  • Those who wish to pursue additional OB training have the opportunity to do another 2-3 blocks and can amass up to 100 or more deliveries, with opportunities to first assist Caesarean sections, as well as perform vacuum-extraction deliveries.
  • OB track residents will  take second call on the Labor and Delivery service, providing an opportunity to be involved in all complicated deliveries and provide consultation for ED patients..
  •  OB/Gyn residents are usually scheduled for surgeries during the day, so it is primarily the Family Medicine residents who run the deck at that time. Both departments long ago realized the value of this interdependence.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives are a constant presence on the labor deck and add to the diversity of the maternity care experience managing routine and high-risk patients.

Political Advocacy & Leadership Track (PALT)

Louise Slaughter with Family Medicine residents and Residency Director Steve Schultz.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) with

Family Medicine residents and

Residency Director Steve Schultz

This track supports residents who are interested in the policy making process that directs the delivery of health care in the U.S.  Residents who choose to participate are supported by the residency to:

  • Learn about the legislative issues that affect patients, medical education and healthcare policy
  • Develop an advocacy issue of personal interest
  • Serve on a New York State Academy of Family Medicine commission
  • Lobby in Albany, NY and Washington, D.C. to meet state senators and representatives as well as national leaders.

Sports Medicine

A new area of concentration, the Sports Medicine Area of Concentration offers an opportunity for interested residents to expand their interest and exposure to the field, beyond what is offered through the Sports Medicine rotation in the 3rd year. Residents pursuing this area of concentration will have increased opportunities to:

  • Develop academic scholarship skills in sports medicine
  • Develop advanced examination skills of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Gain additional experience and develop proficiency in the following areas:
      • Performing and evaluating exercise treadmill tests.sports med
  • Creating orthotics for injury management.
  • Performing sports pre-participation physical exams.
  • Assisting as team physician for various high school and college athletic programs
  • Diagnosing and managing sports medicine and orthopedic injuries.
  • Caring for medical problems in the athlete.
  • Performing orthopedic procedures, including: joint and soft tissue injection/aspiration, fracture management and reduction, casting and splinting, joint relocations, etc.


Also new, the Geriatric Area of Concentration is supported by the two Geriatric certified Family Physicians on our faculty. Requirements include:

  • Documentation of satisfactory completion of four weeks of approved geriatric medicine elective;
  • Documentation of satisfactory completion of all scholarly work requirements, including copies of presentation materials used (posters, slides, etc.)
  • Copies of progress notes from additional geriatric home visits
  • Documentation of attendance at an approved geriatric medicine CME conference

Community Hospital in a University Setting

The best of both worlds. It is such a trite term, and yet so perfectly describes Highland Hospital. Highland Hospital is a 270 bed hospital tucked into the edge of Highland Park, approximately one mile from the large university hospital, Strong Memorial. Highland is the oldest hospital in Rochester, founded in 1889 as a homeopathic hospital, and where insulin was first used in the United States.

Highland is our hospital, the site of the third oldest family medicine program in the country, a hospital where family medicine has been part of the culture since 1969, when family medicine was first established as a specialty.

It is a hospital with a rich history of collaboration, where family physicians, internists, and subspecialists greet each other warmly and curbside consult each other over coffee at Primary Care Grand Rounds every Tuesday morning; where family physician attendings have C-section privileges, attend every resident continuity delivery, attend on the palliative care consult service, the geriatric inpatient service, the special care nursery, and our busy adult medicine inpatient service.

It is a hospital large enough to have excellent services, and yet small enough where you get to know all the cardiologists, nephrologists, OB/GYNs, and surgeons, and they get to know you. They become invested in your education, in you personally.

There are fellowships for family physicians in Geriatrics, Maternal & Child Health, and Palliative Care and which all have active clinical roles in the hospital setting.

Emphasis on Psychosocial Medicine

This aspect of our training truly makes us unique. The goal of psychosocial medicine (PSM) is the development of personal and professional skills. The ability of Family Physicians to communicate with patients and to think on a systems level is what sets us apart and allows us to function as excellent clinicians. A few highlights of this rotation:

  • 40% of residents’ time is spent in their outpatient practice, providing an opportunity to implement many of their PSM skills
  • Residents participate in a Family Systems Medicine Practicum co-taught by a family physician and a family therapist
  • Short-term primary care counseling, core seminars and educational experiences in alcoholism and chemical dependency, parent counseling, eating disorders, psychopharmacology, and child psychiatry
  • Intensive small group experience with an analytically oriented psychiatrist, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and education about the dynamics of small groups.

In total, the Psychosocial Medicine rotation is generally considered pivotal in the development of every family physician. Read more detailed information.

Other Program Highlights

  • Home of the biopsychosocial model.University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency - Mindfulness Training
  • Blackboard website is home to all curricula, goals and objectives for all rotations.
  • MedHub electronic evaluation system.
  • Onsite, weekly faculty-supervised resident sessions for general procedures and for colposcopies.
  • Diabetic, chronic pain, and smoking cessation group visits.
  • On-site Behavioral Health Services.
  • Opportunity to provide palliative care at two-bed hospice unit.
  • All University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) programs are free from pharmaceutical company representatives.
  • One of only 14 Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) residency programs in the country: 3-year HRSA Title VII grant completed in Spring of 2012. The principles of P4 have been integrated into our P2 rotation.

“I really miss the stimulation and academic diversity/open-mindedness that is so much a part of Rochester.” –Alumni Survey 2010