Program Director's Welcome
With great excitement, I welcome you to the Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency Program. What a time for family medicine! Primary care is at the center of healthcare reform and we at Rush-Copley stand at the forefront of what’s needed to improve the quality of care for our patients. Congratulations on your decision to choose family medicine.
Family medicine is the specialty that provides “continuing, comprehensive, compassionate, and personal care provided within the context of family and community.” Years after graduating residency, I understand that definition is more than just a string of nice sounding words thrown together by the Future of Family Medicine Report. Those words have real meaning for me.
It was only after being a family doctor for some time that I understood just how much meaning those words have. I’ve been in practice long enough to watch my newborns grow into grade schoolers needing their sports physicals for football. It’s been long enough that my patient’s problem feels like it’s my problem, too. Long enough to experience the loss of some of my patients, the ones who have become friends and family over the years. Long enough to have gone to more than one patient’s memorial service. Long enough to understand my role as a family physician and the important role I play in my patient’s health and quality of life. And long enough to realize the role these same patients play in my own life. I am blessed by what they’ve given to me all these years. This is Family Medicine. I hope that you, too, find the same delight and satisfaction in your career as a family doctor.
This is an exciting time for primary care. As more attention is focused on the healthcare system, the center spotlight is on primary care. The US spends more dollars per capita on healthcare, but our outcomes don’t reflect that investment. Studies show that a strong primary care foundation leads to improved quality and more efficient care while simultaneously lowering healthcare costs. Unfortunately, the National Resident Matching Program shows a declining interest in primary care. “At the time we need family physicians the most, we are producing the least,” says Ted Epperly, MD, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians. As our Baby Boomers age and the primary care shortage increases, there will be an even greater reliance and regard for our essential role in caring for our patients’ preventive, acute and chronic needs. As a family doctor, you will play an ever more essential role in an improved healthcare system.
Our program is uniquely positioned in many ways to teach you how to become a competent family physician. First, our Family Medicine Center is well on its way to becoming an official Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). We recently received a generous grant for this purpose. Many of the PCMH elements are already in place, such as a team-based approach to care, a modified open access scheduling system, an electronic health record, an all-condition registry and more. We are excited about beginning group visits for chronic illnesses and using reliability science to ensure consistent excellence based on quality and patient safety metrics.
Our hospital also provides an ideal setting for the inpatient experience. Despite being a community hospital with that “small-town” feel, we are known for our advanced medicine. As a matter of fact, we’re the only hospital in our region certified by The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. We deliver 4,000 babies per year and have the only Level III Nursery in Kane County. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, we are the only hospital in the country to have Joint Commission Certification for our Maternal/Child and High-Risk Neonatal Care. Our emergency department is one of the busiest in Illinois, seeing over 60,000 patients per year. As an unopposed program, the opportunities for you to learn here are endless.
However, it’s not just the technology and expertise that’s important, it’s also the people. Our medical and nursing staff are supportive of our residents and our teaching mission.
Finally, we are committed to teaching you how to become a family physician. My philosophy on residency education is one of active learning. I always joke a bit with the residents that in medical school, you are relatively “spoon fed.” Here, we’ll show you how to pick up the spoon and do it yourself! This is a time of supported experiential learning. My goal is that by the time of graduation, you are a competent and qualified family physician. You’ll find that our faculty each have their own unique teaching style that facilitates your individual learning.
I invite you to learn more about our program and share the excitement we enjoy in being family physicians. Please explore our website and don’t hesitate to email or call if you have any questions. Again, welcome!
Brenda K. Fann, M.D., FAAFP
Director, Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency Program
Assistant Professor, Rush Medical College