About the Specialty
Family Medicine is primary care medicine at its best. We take care of entire families regardless of the age or gender of the family members. We take great pride in establishing nurturing longitudinal relationships with our patients. We care for patients from “cradle to grave.” While Family Medicine physicians can treat both acute and chronic diseases, we like to focus on prevention. We practice in a wide variety of environments including clinics, hospitals, rural, and international settings.
Answers to Common Questions
- Attributes of a Competitive Student
What factors typically make a student competitive for this specialty?
A strong interest in primary care and developing longitudinal relationships with patients.
How important is research experience in your specialty? If important, does it need to be in the specialty itself?
Research is encouraged, but is not a requirement to apply for Family Medicine residency. We tend to value community based participatory research with community organizations aimed at improving the population health of our patients.
How can students identify opportunities for shadowing?
Start by contacting me, Dr. Jetpuri, Dr. McGregor, or Dr. Schneider.
Are there additional suggestions for how students can learn more about your specialty?
The American Academy of Family Physicians has a lot of useful information for students and residents.
What electives would you recommend to a student who is interested in pursuing your specialty?
In the pre-clerkship years, I would consider doing a preceptorship in Family Medicine. You can find a link to the Texas Statewide Family Medicine Preceptorship on the Texas Academy of Family Physicians website. Post-clerkship, I would consider a Sub-I in Family Medicine or an away rotation at a residency program that is of high interest to you.
Based on your experience, what tips do you have for students to shine on your electives?
Be punctual and be engaged.
- Away Rotations
Does your specialty recommend doing away rotations?
Away rotations are not required. However, if you have interest in a specific residency program that is competitive, then an away rotation in that residency can help your odds of matching there.
If away rotations are necessary, when should they apply and when should they be completed?
If you are going to do an away rotation, it should be completed by the end of January. The rotation should be done before Match rank lists are submitted in February.
- Interview Timing
Which month do you recommend taking off to interview?
There is no specific recommended month. There is no advantage to interviewing early or late.
- Letters of Recommendation
How many letters of recommendation are needed to apply to your specialty?
A minimum of three letters is required.
Does your specialty recommend that all letters of recommendation be written by members of your specialty?
Only one letter of recommendation needs to be from a family physician. The other letters may come from physicians of any specialty. It is better if you choose letter writers who know you well and can speak to your skills as a physician.
If letters can come from other disciplines, do you have a recommendation as to which disciplines are more highly valued?
No discipline more highly valued than another.
Does the academic rank of the letter writer matter?
The letter writer’s academic rank does not matter, but letters should not come from residents.
Does your specialty require a letter from the chairman?
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- Society for Teachers of Family Medicine
- Texas Academy of Family Physicians