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Residency Curriculum

Learn more about what to expect from the Family and Community Medicine residency, including the emphasis on behavioral medicine.

Family Medicine Curriculum Heading link

Each year of training at our Family Medicine Residency program contains three core elements:

  1. Inpatient and outpatient Family Medicine and other specialty rotations
  2. Continuity clinic sessions at the Family Medicine Center at University Village, Mile Square Health Center, and/or the Pilsen Family Health Center
  3. A weekly didactic curriculum of lectures, seminars, and procedure workshops

Customizing your experience

As training progresses, the opportunities open to customize the educational experience to meet each resident’s learning needs and post-residency plans through five months of elective rotations, individual projects in scholarship and quality improvement, and optional participation in additional degree programs through the University of Illinois. This curriculum provides both the structure and flexibility to prepare residents to realize their own vision in Family Medicine.

Rotation timing and location

Rotations in the Family Medicine curriculum are 2-4 weeks in duration with most rotations taking place on the University of Illinois medical campus.

The Residency receives funding through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), and the following rotations take place at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, conveniently located across the street from the UIC West Campus: Outpatient Surgery, Cardiology, Neurology, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Dermatology, and Ophthalmology.

Rotations in Geriatrics and Behavioral Medicine blend experiences in both settings.
Elective rotations may, with advanced planning and program director approval, take place at other sites.

Behavioral Medicine Curriculum Heading link

One of the strengths of a Family Medicine residency is its behavioral medicine education. Behavioral medicine integrates knowledge in the biological, behavioral, psychological and social sciences into the approach to health and illness. In addition to learning about mental illness, the UIC Family Medicine Residency behavioral medicine curriculum includes a wide range of experiences designed to enhance each physician’s ability to incorporate the biopsychosocial model into every patient visit, as well as engage in self-care and self-reflection to prevent burnout and stimulate professional growth. Components of our behavioral medicine curriculum include the following:
  • One-on-one behavioral medicine precepting

    This happens in each of the three years of residency. Residents learn a range of skills, including structuring their medical interview, sensitive questions, brief counseling techniques, motivational interviewing, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment), and diagnosis and treatment of common mental health conditions.

  • Adult Behavioral Medicine core rotation

    A four-week rotation with experiences through UIC’s Psychiatry Department and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Clinics in this rotation include: mood and anxiety disorders, women’s mental health, addiction medicine and substance abuse, pain management and sleep medicine.

  • Child Behavioral Medicine elective

    A four-week R3 rotation in which residents gain experience with child populations, with conditions ranging from early childhood development, ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and adolescent medicine.

  • Behavioral Medicine Elective

    Residents have the option of designing a behavioral medicine elective during their R3 year. Residents may arrange experiences from a number of sites that address behavioral medicine concerns: from sexual dysfunctions, to developmental disorders, to child abuse evaluations.

  • Monthly Didactics

    Residents receive monthly behavioral medicine didactics, which cover a range of topics, such as common mental illnesses, health literacy, dealing with “difficult” patients, communication strategies, working with chronic pain patients, patient-centered physical exams, and physician impairment

  • Cultural Identification and Values Clarification

    Residents engage in exercises to increase awareness of their own cultures and values, and increase sensitivity to the cultures and values of others. Exercises also focus on increasing active listening skills.

  • Inpatient Support

    Each week, residents who are on the inpatient unit meet to discuss stressors and successes over the past week.

  • Intern Support

    Interns meet monthly to discuss the challenges of transitioning and navigating a new career, and to receive support and guidance from faculty and each other. Intern support group also allows interns an opportunity to practice a variety of self-care techniques.

Weekly Residency Education Session Heading link

All Family Medicine residents participate in a one-half day per week structured learning experience. Following departmental Grand Rounds, these sessions focus on family medicine content, clinical reasoning, community medicine, cultural process content and skills, communication skills, basic procedural skills, and focused self-education.