Teaching family in family medicine residency programs: Results of a national survey

Eliana C. Korin, Amy J. Odom, Nancy K. Newman, Jason Fletcher, Claudia Lechuga, M. Diane McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Integrating family into family medicine has been recognized as important for the discipline, yet there is little known about how family-oriented care is taught in training environments. This paper presents results of a national survey assessing the status of teaching family concepts/skills in family medicine residency programs. METHODS: We sought to survey the program director (PD), a behavioral science faculty (BSF), and a chief resident (CR) from all 454 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) family medicine residency programs. RESULTS: Respondents (n=489) were PDs (29%), CRs (34%), and BSF (36%). Of all respondents, 47% to 66% believe that integrating family concepts/skills into family medicine training is very important (highest level of importance). However, only 19%-23% believe their own programs place this level of importance on this curricular area. Less weight is given to family topics when compared with other behavior science subjects. Behavioral scientists who reported inclusion of (1) family concepts/skills in the formulation of ACGME competencies, (2) evaluation of residents on these skills, or (3) the presence of a family champion or scholar in the program, all reported teaching sig-nificantly more family-oriented skills compared to those that did not, respectively, 1 (6.96 versus 4.48), 2 (6.55 versus 4.97), and 3 (6.62 versus 4.54). CONCLUSIONS: Teaching about the family in family medicine continues to be highly valued among educators and their trainees; however, it is not perceived to be similarly valued in residency programs. Current changes in health care offer opportunities to promote and affirm family-oriented care. New cur-ricular strategies are needed so that family-oriented care continues to define the uniqueness of family medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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