Family Medicine

Last week I went to two interest group meetings. They were the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) and the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG). Honestly, I went to these meetings because they were convenient for me. I had afternoon labs and both of these meetings offered free lunches for those who signed up. I wonder what kind of attendance can be expected for these on-campus meetings if free meals were not available.

The FMIG meeting was earlier in the week. It was surprisingly interesting. I had never thought about Family Medicine. Maybe the food was influencing me… I found out that the Family Medicine Residency at Loma Linda University is part of a program called P4. The description of the P4 program can be found at Here’s a snippet:

The P4 Residency Demonstration Initiative is a collaborative effort led by the P4 Steering Committee in collaboration with the Association of Family Medicine Residency Program Directors, the American Board of Family Medicine, and TransforMED, a practice redesign initiative of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The P4 initiative has the potential to inspire considerable changes in the content and structure of family medicine training.

Findings from the project are expected to guide future revisions in accreditation and content to ensure America’s future family doctors are proficient in using the most up-to-date tools and technologies to provide superior patient care.

There are 14 residency programs in the country that are a part of this program. If you’re interested you can see the list of programs here.

I walked away from the meeting thinking that Family Medicine might be something I’d be interested in. The scope of practice is fairly large and a family physician will see patients young and old. A phrase I heard that describes this was “from the womb to the tomb.” The presenter said that a family physician will be able to treat 90% of the problems and know when to refer to a specialist.

The aspect of family medicine that appealed to me most was the personal attention to the patient. It is one specialty in which a doctor can cultivate a relationship with patients because the patients usually stay with them for many years.

The only question I had that went unanswered was about the difference between Family Medicine and Med-Peds… but I suppose that will be a lesson for another day…