Message from the Chair

Janet Albers, MD
Department of Family & Community Medicine
SIU School of Medicine

The Department of Family & Community Medicine is the foundation of training in generalist medicine and community healthcare at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Through innovation in curricular development and in clinical practice, the Department is committed to training Family Physicians of the highest quality who become regional leaders in health system development, to the provision of cutting edge healthcare services to the people of southern, central and western Illinois, and to advancing the principles of Family Medicine and population health through the scholarship of discovery, education, integration, and application.

To this end, the Department administers four regionally based Family Medicine residency training programs, two fellowships in Primary Care Musculoskeletal Medicine, and six full service patient-centered medical homes that emphasize the elements of interprofessional integration and community engagement. Faculty members of the Department play integral roles in curricular development and teaching in all four years of medical school, and, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale College of Applied Sciences and Arts, in both years of the Physician Assistant Program. We welcome you to explore our philosophy and programs through the pages of this website.

Since 1971, the SIU Department of Family & Community Medicine (FCM) has played a major role in meeting the healthcare needs of the communities and people of Illinois. The primary responsibility of our department is a 59 county region populated by 2,100,000 people who live in an area approximated by the southwest side of a line drawn from Rock Island in the central-northwest to Effingham in the southeast. Our residency training programs in Carbondale, Decatur, Quincy, and Springfield have been leaders in innovation in healthcare delivery, and have produced a cadre of family physicians who are the soul of healthcare delivery in this region.

Through 2006, FCM has graduated 600 family physicians, half of which practice in the State of Illinois and over 40% of whom practice in state and federal healthcare shortage areas. Each year, FCM graduates 25 family physicians and assists in the training of 24 SIU physician assistant students. To meet the continuing needs for primary healthcare in our 59 county region, we have calculated that our programs must graduate 32 to 42 family physicians each year.

Future trends in healthcare and education provide our department a variety of opportunities. Our department must be a leader in the innovation of healthcare delivery systems, particularly in light of the dramatic changes in medical science, population health demographics, and health information technology. Our department must be a leader in educational methodologies, as we teach medical students and residents to develop the most efficient and effective personal medical homes and the broad range of necessary skills. Our department must be flexible, adapting to and influencing national trends in healthcare. Indeed, current trends in healthcare in the US provide our department unparalleled challenges and opportunities for the future.

Click here for a summary of healthcare trends and the role of Departments of Family Medicine in the future.