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Our Unique Program

Forbe Family residency program


During our three-year Family Medicine Residency Program, your preparation as a family physician goes beyond the required rotations. This is mainly where residency programs differ. The Forbes Family Medicine Residency Program distinguished itself by providing the following longitudinal experiences:

Behavioral Science

Because family medicine will involve you in a therapeutic capacity in the lives of your patients and their families, your interpersonal skills are of primary importance. Moreover, it is likely that your patients will present you with a range of problems such as depression, stress-related illness and marital or sexual difficulties. To equip you to interact sensitively and to recognize, assess and initiate treatment for such patients, behavioral science training experiences are incorporated throughout the program's three years.

A full-time behavioral scientist is available to all residents for consultation, co-precepting, and demonstration of therapeutic techniques for use with patients. Twice weekly, the behavioral scientist participates in inpatient rounds with residents and faculty. A weekly patient care seminar (Balint) will allow you to discuss your patients from a behavioral standpoint and consult with peers and faculty, among whom are a psychologist and a family physician. Monthly core curriculum conferences address common psychosocial problems and include workshops that focus on skills such as counseling, telephone medicine and working with families.

Videotape review of your patient sessions is designed to give useful feedback on your interviewing, counseling, and problem-solving skills; nonverbal physician-patient/family interaction; and the efficiency with which you conduct office visits. These tapes are made in specially equipped exam rooms in the Family Medicine Center. You then review your session tapes with the behavioral scientist or a faculty member whose remarks can serve to heighten your ability to self-monitor and modify your approach as necessary.

Patient Education
Educating patients and encouraging them to become active partners in their own health care are strongly supported by the program's emphasis on patient education. As a resident physician, you will be expected to identify the learning needs of your patients and tailor a specific teaching plan to guide them to the required information.

Throughout the program's duration, a full-time nurse practitioner and patient educator coordinates patient teaching activities, assists you in developing patient teaching methods and materials, and serves as your resource for in-depth education with selected patients. Faculty and staff are also available to help you in your patient education duties.

The many patient-teaching aids at the Family Medicine Center include printed materials, video and audio tapes, anatomical models, teaching posters and computer-based programs. Waiting areas and exam rooms also contain these materials for patients' use.

The Forbes Family Medicine Residency Program has established a program of excellence with national recognition for its patient education efforts.  In 1991, Forbes Hospital was honored with the national Patient Care Award for Excellence in Patient Education, presented at the annual Patient Education Conference.

Community Medicine
As a family physician, you will be an important and integral leader in the community you serve.
Community medicine at Forbes Family Medicine Residency Program is designed to provide you with the background you need to step into this leadership role. Therefore, community medicine is integrated throughout your three years, in many of your rotations. You will have opportunities to observe and work with community agencies, schools and sports medicine programs. You will participate in our community-oriented primary care longitudinal project where we explore a local community and its healthcare needs in depth, and work with that community to improve its healthcare. In addition, our faculty are involved in a variety of community agencies and projects, and you are invited to team with them as they provide community service.

Resident Support Group
The program is sensitive to the unique stresses that new physicians sometimes encounter during their residency experience. To ease your transition into your new roles, the program begins resident support during the first-year orientation, when faculty confer with residents on risk assessment and stress reduction and address the fears and expectations of residents. A retreat for new residents further encourages supportive peer group cohesion, preparing the way for your future participation in the program's resident support group. This group is open to all residents and gives you the opportunity to develop effective communication and interpersonal skills while dealing with the positive and negative aspects of your residency in a supportive atmosphere.

Evaluations for Guidance
Evaluations for guidance of residents include the following:

Resident Evaluation: Objectives and evaluations are established to guide, assess, and document each resident's experiences in rotations and at the Family Medicine Center.  At the end of each rotation, the supervising attending physician evaluates you on a range of essential knowledge, skills, and professional attributes. Family Medicine Center preceptors audit charts, directly observe your patient care, evaluate your specific clinical and practice management skills, and document their observations monthly, using as their criteria numerous aspects of an ideal Family Medicine Center office visit.

Development Staffing Meetings: Twice a year, these staffing meetings are held for each resident. At these meetings, you complete a self-evaluation according to stated criteria and with your advisor and a preceptor, review and discuss all rotation and office evaluations. With the benefit of this feedback, you and your evaluators outline a written six-month or one-year plan for your continued development.

Program Evaluation: Each resident is regularly requested to evaluate the teaching, rotations and other learning experiences that comprise the program. Residents also participate in curriculum, patient education, research, and Family Medicine Center committees with faculty members and the residency director to plan and implement program modifications.

Family-Centered Maternity Care
Residents learn an approach to obstetrics that is quite different from that typically practiced by obstetricians. Family-centered birthing is a high-touch, low-tech approach in which assumptions about practice are challenged by evidence-based medicine and the needs and desires of the laboring woman are supported when possible. Family medicine faculty members back up most of the deliveries and serve as role models. They and our obstetrician faculty support the residents as they work directly with their patients. We also have a nurse midwife who participates in precepting of prenatal visits and deliveries. You will learn to practice a safe and satisfying approach to the prenatal and birthing process that is consistent with the philosophy of family medicine.

Women's Health
Forbes Family Medicine Center has a more than 15-year history of actively teaching women's health and offering an elective or longitudinal experience to senior residents in that area. In 1994, we received a U.S. Health and Human Services grant to develop a comprehensive curriculum in women's health for the residency. The curriculum is informed by input from women patient focus groups, by evolving biomedical knowledge, and by attention to specific areas affecting women, such as violence and awareness of barriers to access, which include financial need, multiple roles, and communication problems.

Family Medicine Conferences
Core curriculum conferences are presented for one hour, four days per week, with occasional additional times for progress rounds, grand rounds, practice management and journal club. These conferences provide an effective means for supplementing your knowledge of patient care and problem-solving. We have a well-organized conference curriculum that includes all the key areas of family medicine. Conferences are conducted by Forbes Hospital physicians, faculty, residents and contributing faculty from local institutions.


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