Family Medicine Residency

I attended an FCM post-match session in May 2008. Below are my notes from that session.

– Present. MS4s who recently matched into family medicine.
Michel Sam, Julia Song, Suzanne Lee, Christine Millerick, Pedro Olea, Yoshi Laing

– Places students matched includes Martinez, Kaiser LA, Mayo-Arizona, UCLA Santa Monica, UCSF/SFGH.
– If you’re going to do an away rotation just to check out a school, do an interesting rotation there, you do not necessarily have to do a subI there.
– Note that you will get offers for interviews early in the season
– A UCSF student, Mika Godzich, created a website that you can logon to post your impressions of programs during the interview trail. Please use it.
– Schedule your interviews early.
– Before you turn in your application, think abuot when you want to interview. Some of the programs have their interview dates on their website
– 2 week rotations are absolutely fine when you are doing an away rotation
– EKG class for MS4s is very good
– when deciding on a residency, consider the personalities in the specialty and the patient care environment
– Step 2. One student took it late Dec, after all of her interviews
– You should sign up early for Step 2! The spots run out quickly. You can sign up now.
– Step 2 CS. Most adult/urgent care presentations. 1-2 out of 12 might be peds.
-You can always change the date you’ve schedule for step 2
– If you are traveling, you can even contact program directors to hang out for a day or 2 at the place you’re thinking about interviewing
– Good subIs> STD clinic, ED Highland, Surgical ICU, peds urgent care, Poverty Medicine, Toxicology,Pharmacology (good hours),
– Bad subI. Optho for primary care (poorly organized)
– Some questions you an ask during your interviews:
— what fellowships do people do after your program? you will usually get a hanout

– Questions you might be asked
— strengths, weaknesses, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years, why our school?
— when did you have a difficult time with a pt, a resident, how did you deal with that?
– Ranking: you can let programs know that you really want to go to there resident, and email them that you ranked them first, if in fact you did


Please add your comments or words of advice below.



FCM residency information session (May 2008 )

Present: Dr. Vener and eager new MS4s interested in FCM

General advice:

– get an advisor and talk to them often throughout your application process

– If you’re going into primary care and you’re from UCSF, you will be highly sought after

– A good advisor is one who listens and that you can bounce ideas off of


– Spring: (get letters, min 3 letters, no more than 4; do not need a SubI; can get letter from LCE, subI, core rotation; Other two letters can be from anywhere you worked with a clinician; 4th letter optional like MPH, AOC, etc. 4th letter need not be clinical; better to have 3 really good letters, than 3 good and 1 mediocre letter.)

– Talk to graduating students

– Now: (May) Start writing your personal statement; make residency program want to meet you; don’t blow it. Have 1 paragraph referring to why you came into medicine, life experiences before med school; something about clinical experience; include somthing about pt care; brief statement about why FCM; what your goals are.)

– Have people read your personal statement; at least one classmate; one advisor; Dr. Vener will also give you input; should be 1 page, single space, no longer than 1 page.

In mid-September there is a residency fair

Nov-Jan – interviews

Family medicine starts interviewing early – mid Nov

Turn in your ERAS application as early as possible, i.e. in September

Take vacation Dec/Jan. November might be too soon to take time off for a vacation


– get a lot of info from students in the interview trail about their impressions of other programs

Selecting a residency:

– ask yourself what is the best fit for you, where you will be able to learn the best, or be near family or raise a family, and where there will be good colleagues

– Can you see yourself hanging out with those people when you’re tired, exhaused, etc?

– You could consider academics, NIH funding, fellowships, community programs; surgery heavy vs hospitalist; more rural based “unapposed” , more procedures, etc.; personality of your co-residents; activities you want to do outside of the hospital, etc.

– Find out what it is that is important to you. Find time during the process to reflect. budget in some peacefulness. Take care of your adult issues now. Think about how and to what extent these will figure into your residency. Issues could include jobs available, family issues, partner issues, what happens after residency


– FCM doesn’t have the highest salaries

– There are a lot of loan repayment programs

– Kaiser starts around ~ $170,000, and kaiser covers your malpractice

– Some people work part time and are paid $220,000. So there is potential for great earnings.


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