Why would I want to be at the SIU Alton Family Medicine Residency Program?  

Great question!  First, we are dedicated to training well-rounded, excellently trained, full-spectrum Family Physicians who are lifelong learners and serve their patients and their communities.  We are a relatively new program, and that is different than stepping into a program that has been long established.  We currently have our first class of 6 resident physicians, so when you join us, you will have only second year residents as mentors and colleagues, which also means that you have more direct interaction with and supervision by attending physicians in everything you do.  As a new program, we are also not bound to tradition and are free to explore innovative forms of education and patient care delivery.

Your residency class will form especially close bonds as you participate in our  program.  You will have direct input into decisions that are made regarding the future of the program, and your feedback will be essential as we strive to make our opportunities for patient care, education, and service the best that they can be for you and the residents who follow.

Each of you will get the chance to be “acting chief resident” one time in your first year of residency.  This will allow you leadership experiences early in your residency program, experiences that normally are limited to third year residents.

The attending physicians in the program will be doing more direct patient care and supervision in the first two years of our program to make sure that residents do not exceed their work hour limitations.  This, however, also means that we as faculty know exactly what your workload and duties really are—something that many faculty don’t understand in established programs that have had residents for many years.

Will the program have the expertise I need? 

SIU School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine is responsible for the academic administration of the program.  The Department has nearly 50 years of successful family medicine training at its other four residency sites in Carbondale, Decatur, Springfield, and Quincy, having graduated over 900 Board Certified Family Physicians who practice throughout the United States and around the world.  Our faculty have ample residency education experience, and our sponsoring hospital, as part of the Barnes-Jewish-Children’s system, has access to institutional experience with resident education throughout the St. Louis metro area.  Indeed, as a resident, you will benefit from this directly as you train alongside residents in your first and second years in Pediatrics at one of the country’s top Pediatrics programs at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  In addition, the outpatient clinical partner, SIHF, is a Federally Qualified Health Center that has housed another Family Medicine residency program for over 20 years.  All three of these partners are fully committed to making your residency experience the best it can be.

What is innovative about this program?

All residency programs are bound to some basic requirements in terms of clinical experiences and time spent in various activities throughout the three year program, in accordance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME); however, each program has its own unique identity.  The SIU Alton program offers special emphasis on evidence-based medicine (EBM) and information mastery, patient and community advocacy, outreach to vulnerable populations, POCUS, MAT, and procedural training.  In addition, our program offers a high degree of individualized experiences depending on resident interest and need for preparation for the practices they will have in the future.  Residents who are interested in exploring academic medicine will be fully supported.  Leadership training will also be emphasized and individualized, as physicians in all environments are leaders—in their practices, their organizations, and their communities.

Is your program IMG friendly?

Yes!  International medical school graduates are welcome and can apply through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

Is your program unopposed? 

Yes, it is.  There are no other residencies rotating through Alton Memorial Hospital or the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation clinic.  You will have the opportunity to work with 2nd-4th year medical students as well as pharmacy students from time to time as well.

Will there be a lot of traveling between sites?

Thankfully, no.  Out of our three participating sites, Alton Memorial Hospital and Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation are located on the same campus.  St. Louis Children’s Hospital is located approximately 40 minutes (22 miles) from Alton Memorial Hospital.  We do have a rural rotation in year 2 or 3, and for this rotation, residents can choose to commute from home or stay on-site with housing provided.

Am I a good fit for your program? 

We’ve been asked this question a lot, and it’s a good one.  Our ideal candidate is interested in developing leadership skills, is extremely passionate about Family Medicine and serving our patients, their families, and their communities.  If you demonstrate this through a personal statement or elsewhere in your application, we will notice.  Those are the candidates we want to interview.

What concessions will you make for applicants affected by COVID-19?

We understand that the pandemic has affected learning opportunities and clinical opportunities, and has affected testing dates.  Our best advice is to make your application stronger by having really positive and detailed letters of recommendation and an even stronger personal statement.  

What is Alton’s demographic info? 

Alton's population is approximately 30,000 residents, but our estimated service area population is about 250,000.  Alton is in Madison County and the city demographic information (from www.census.gov) breaks down as follows:

•    White - 71.0%
•    Black or African American - 24.1%
•    American Indian and Alaska Native - 0.1%
•    Asian - 0.4%
•    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander - 0.0%
•    Two or More Races - 4.1%
•    Hispanic or Latino - 2.5%
•    White alone, not Hispanic or Latino - 69.0%