Family Medicine

Scope and Objectives

The Department of Family Medicine provides all students with a basic introduction to family-centered care in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. During the basic clerkship, students develop (1) an appreciation of the breadth and scope of family medicine, (2) a basic knowledge in the broad content areas of family medicine, and (3) fundamental clinical skills appropriate to family medicine, including the coordination and management of patients with multiple chronic diseases. The overall goal is to provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding and appreciation of the central role of family physicians in the healthcare system, and to offer advanced clinical training for those students interested in pursuing careers in family medicine. Further, the basic curriculum includes an overview of healthcare issues facing underserved and immigrant populations in urban America.

Family medicine faculty members are in leadership roles in the doctoring curriculum and in the Primary Care College. All first-year students are assigned to work with a family medicine preceptor once a month on a longitudinal basis for the entire year as part of the doctoring program. In the third and fourth (clinical) years, required and elective opportunities exist. All students take a required four-week clerkship in the third year, which is offered at over 10 teaching sites.

The department offers paid six-week electives known as Summer Research Fellowships after the first year of medical school. This program teaches students how to collect data and submit applications for federal designation as underserved areas. It includes journal article reviews on healthcare reform and disparities, as well as the geographic mal-distribution of physicians and the shortage of primary care physicians in South Los Angeles. Students can also participate in a clinical experience. At the end of the project the students present their work on a poster, joining approximately 80 classmates doing other summer projects support by the dean’s office.

For more details on the Department of Family Medicine, see the department website.