Considering an Educational Track?
Some residents decide during residency that their future practice may emphasize certain aspects of Family Medicine more than others. For example, a resident might sign a contract in the second year of residency that includes providing OB care, nursing home directorship, or sports team coverage, whereas another might not. Other times, residents simply desire more in depth exposure to certain areas of Family Medicine than is supplied through the traditional curriculum. If desired, residents can design or follow a special interest track during residency. Tracks essentially guide residents in their choice of elective experiences to result in dedicated additional exposure. Choosing a track does not bind a resident to that track and there is no penalty for withdrawing from an educational track.
We wish to emphasize that by no means does a resident have to choose a track to include these areas as a part of their Family Medicine practice! The curriculum of the SIU Alton Family Medicine Residency Program, in accordance with ACGME and ABFM requirements, prepares residents to practice the full breadth of Family Medicine without choosing a track. Residents should choose their elective experiences to fulfill their own desires for education. That said, based on previous experience with residents, we have created the following standard recommendations.
OB track: This track requires a minimum of two elective blocks of obstetrics experiences with a recommended third block devoted to women’s health or reproductive medicine. Away rotations are an option to expand OB experiences, but must be approved well in advance by the SIU Graduate Medical Education Committee and by Alton Memorial Hospital. We hope that residents who complete this track will have performed well over 100 deliveries during residency and will have assisted with C-sections routinely.
Geriatrics track: This track requires an additional two blocks of geriatrics-related experiences. Depending on the role(s) the resident pursues, such as a geriatrics fellowship, nursing home directorship, geriatrics-heavy practice, etc., this experience can be tailored to provide the resident with the preparation he or she needs. Residents on this track will participate in geriatrics journal clubs in coordination with the SIU Springfield Family Medicine geriatrics track residents and will learn from the Family Medicine Geriatrics Fellowship-certified faculty within the department.
Academic track: This track allows residents who are considering careers in teaching or academic Family Medicine to explore further and develop academic skills that will serve them well in their future careers. At least two blocks are recommended to devote to leadership development and scholarly work. Residents interested in exploring this career path are highly encouraged to complete an additional scholarly activity or research project. Faculty within the Alton program and within the Department are available to assist with project development and implementation.