What aspects make your program unique from others? To name a few:
- Interns are in clinic 2x/week from the start
- Interns are paired with a co-intern “buddy” who is at their same clinic and shares a similar/complementary schedule, and these pairs remain across the 3 years
- Resident wellness support groups
- Integrative medicine is highly valued and prioritized (faculty research, clinic-based learning collaborative)
- Residents rotating on OB learn from midwives, OB attendings and FM attendings and manage fairly high-risk obstetric patients
- Strong pediatrics training, including working alongside Boston Combined Residency Program (Boston Children’s Hospital) residents
- Continuity clinic sites at four neighborhood health centers serving different underserved demographics (see our CHC page for more info)
- Nationally recognized addiction medicine training and exposure (Grayken Center https://www.bmc.org/addiction)
What kind of experience do residents get with office-based addiction treatment?
All residents get buprenorphine-waiver trained and are able to prescribe under attending supervision. We also have an Addiction track with two students per year who actively manage a panel of patients with SUD at their continuity clinic sites.
What types of electives are possible?
You can typically create an elective out of any clinical interest you have! Prior experiences include: dermatology, addiction medicine, family planning, OB nights, ultrasound, inpatient procedure team, running inpatient codes/rapid responses, women’s health/gyn, correctional health, research, quality improvement, any adult or pediatric sub/specialty, as well as global health electives in Guatemala, Lesotho, and Chiapas (currently limited due to Covid).
What is the dynamic with OB colleagues?
BMC has a unique collaborative model featuring a labor and delivery service run jointly by Family Medicine, OB/Gyn, and Midwives. As a result, we have a very warm and collegial relationship with our OB colleagues, and residents get exposure to several different styles of training and procedures.
How much OB is required for residents in your program?
We are considered a “medium”-exposure OB program. There are two required months of OB in the first year (days and nights), and additional time can be pursued via elective blocks. Residents are required to have a minimum of 15 deliveries and at least an additional five “continuity” deliveries (provide prenatal care and be present at the delivery) before they graduate. Residents have no trouble achieving this and often end up with more. If you are interested in OB, you can structure your training to achieve enough volume to practice low-risk OB after graduation or pursue fellowship. C-section training is not formally part of our curriculum, though residents interested in getting exposure can easily arrange to do so.
What kind of experience do residents get with hands-on procedures?
Inpatient: ABGs, I&Ds, lumbar punctures, paracentesis, lac repairs, circumcisions, postpartum Nexplanon placement. Can also do electives in ultrasound and procedure team (to gain exposure to thoracentesis and higher volume of other procedures).
Outpatient: joint injections, Nexplanon insertion/removal, IUDs, D&Cs/D&Es, colposcopies, endometrial biopsies, pap smears, dermatologic procedures (shave/punch biopsies, aspirations), cryotherapy.
How are didactics structured?
Interns have protected time for didactics every other Wednesday afternoon, while PGY 2/3s have protected time for didactics every Wednesday afternoon. We also have daily noon conferences, weekly grand rounds, and regular Morbidity & Mortality sessions. While on other services, residents are also invited to attend the service-specific didactics, which are held several times/week.
What are the most common fellowships graduates pursue after residency?
Sports Medicine, Obstetrics, and Addiction Medicine have been the most popular choices among our recent graduates. Other fellowships that our recent graduates have completed include Academics, Geriatrics, and Emergency Medicine/Ultrasound.
How do residents get involved in social justice and advocacy work?
The residents are very active in social justice causes both within the residency and out in the local community. Within the residency, they are involved in reproductive justice initiatives, local rallies, and bolstering our health equity curriculum. We have monthly health equity noon talks given by residents. Additionally, we have dedicated workshops and trainings on health equity topics spread across the three years.
Are there opportunities to do research/scholarly work?
Yes! Our faculty are involved in projects from youth-led community-based participatory research to integrative medicine and beyond, and residents are able to get involved in ongoing projects. Residents complete a scholarly project and a quality improvement project over the course of three years on an area of their choice. Residents also lead journal clubs and give several noon conference talks
What are the global health opportunities in your program?
The BMC FM residency program is the sponsoring institution for the family medicine program in Lesotho doing capacity-building work, registrar (resident) training and collaborative research. Additionally, we have opportunities to work in other places residents can arrange- recent examples are Chiapas and Guatemala. Our faculty work at the national level throughout Southeast Asia on workforce development and capacity building in primary care, with both well established partners (Vietnam more than 20 years), Cambodia, and new country consultations as well.
What work is being done with LGBTQIA+ populations?
We are actively working to improve opportunities for residents in this area by integrating more topics and trainings re: gender-affirming care into our didactic curriculum. We have some incredible clinics within BMC (e.g. Center for Transgender Medicine (CTM), CATCH (Center for Child and Adolescent Transgender Health)) as well as locally in Boston, where residents can rotate during elective time.
Of note, BMC has been named a 2019 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader for being a national leader in providing transgender medical and surgical care.
Do you have opportunities to do abortion care?
Our residents have the opportunity to learn about and gain exposure to family planning procedures at BMC in addition to a dedicated Gynecology rotation. We follow an “opt-out” approach. There are also away elective opportunities for those interested in pursuing additional training.
What opportunities exist related to mentorship of medical students and junior residents?
Several of our department faculty also work in medical student education, so there are constantly opportunities to teach or mentor medical students via workshops or teaching sessions. We also regularly work with 3rd and 4th year medical students on our rotations and in our clinics. As a PGY2/3, you will be expected to mentor interns, especially while leading a medicine team as the senior.
How is Family Medicine perceived in the Boston area?
Although Boston attracts many specialty physicians, it is also the birthplace of the community health center movement, so community-based primary care is in high demand and is highly valued. BMC Family Medicine has a strong reputation locally and our residents are perceived and treated as equals on every service they rotate on at the hospital. Since we rotate through many different departments, we build and maintain strong professional relationships across the hospital.
How is resident wellness prioritized in your program?
Wellness is highly prioritized in our program. Interns attend “support group” twice a month and PGY 2/3s have support group monthly as well as Balint twice a month. We have our very own department social worker who is present at support groups as well as meets weekly with our inpatient FM team to review team dynamics and promote effective communication. Additionally, we have two resident retreats per year. All residents are paired with academic advisors. Additionally, the residents (and partners) are a close, collegial group that has a book club and hangs out frequently outside of work! Our hospital also allots time during Orientation for incoming residents to establish care with a PCP. Our staff is very willing to work with residents around health concerns, doctors appointments, etc.
What was the Family Medicine department’s role during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Boston?
Our residents and faculty took a lead role in the citywide Covid-19 response in Spring/Summer 2020. We comprised four of 12 inpatient teams at BMC, staffed high-volume community testing, responded to the drastically increased volume of patient phone calls, and transformed our community health centers into telemedicine and urgent in-person primary care centers. Additionally, our faculty were leaders in orchestrating the hospital-wide inpatient response and helped provide care at a respite quarantine center for homeless patients on the hospital campus.
Are we allowed to visit BMC during interview season if we happen to be in the area?
Unfortunately, our hospital is adhering to a policy of no in-person visits during this interview season, both for safety and fairness purposes.
Does your program review International Medical graduates?
Yes, we will be reviewing all applicants who meet the criteria posted on our website. We have a holistic review process that considers applicants "real world" experience and attributes in addition to formal medical training. Often but not every year we interview a handful of IMG applicants.
Is your program friendly to DO students? Are there opportunities to expand osteopathic skills in your program?
Yes! We have several amazing DO residents as part of our family here. DO residents are able to use elective time to expand on their osteopathic training.
Does your program use USMLE/COMLEX score "cut-offs"?
There is no cut off score on USMLE/Comlex but there needs to be evidence that the applicant will have completed all Massachusetts licensing requirements by the match to predict an on-time start for training.
Does your program sponsor applicant Visas?
Our institution is extremely limited in the ability to sponsor most VISAs. If you are offered an interview we can review these limitations with you.
I still have questions. Where can I find more information?
Follow us on our social media accounts to learn more about day-to-day resident life and our upcoming virtual recruitment events, which will all have Q&A sessions.
Instagram - @familyatbmc
Twitter - @bmc_familymed
Additionally, please peruse our website for answers to more questions, as well as recordings of our virtual events thus far: