Program Director's Welcome
With great excitement, I welcome you to the Rush-Copley Family Medicine Residency Program. What a time for 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. To this day, I am still pleased with my decision to become a family doctor. It has given me a challenging career filled with joy, a sense of accomplishment, and both personal and professional satisfaction. I hope that you, too, will experience the same delight and satisfaction in Family Medicine. Congratulations on your decision to choose family medicine!
Our program is strongly positioned to teach you to become a competent family physician. We’re a 4-4-4, unopposed, community family medicine program with Rush University Affiliation. A stable program, we just celebrated our 15th graduation and are fully ACGME-accredited.
As a resident, you’ll want the right balance between supervision and autonomy. Our robust evaluation process, supervision policy, real-time video monitoring and taped feedback sessions keep you will apprised of your growing competency level and opportunities for improvement. When seeing patients, the attendings and faculty “really allow you to step up and take care of our patients, but always have a helping hand when needed or a piece of advice that betters patient care,” says one of our residents.
I’ll highlight some of the unique features of our program here and you are welcome to contact us for more information.
Our Family Medicine Center
As a family medicine resident, our family medicine clinic will be at the heart of your training and this is where you will see your own panel of patients throughout your three years of training. Our Family Medicine Center was the third clinic in Illinois to receive official recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee on Quality Assurance. A few of our unique PMCH elements include same day sick visits, diabetes population management, group visits for diabetes, and referral tracking.
Not only are we recognized as a PCMH, we were selected to participate in the Diabetes Master Clinician Program, a diabetes population management program that emphasizes education and team-based care in partnership with the patient in order to improve the quality of their care. After only 8 months of starting the program, we saw a significant improvement in our diabetic outcomes and our clinic received the honor of being a Center of Diabetes Excellence! We are excited about using these tools to ensure consistent excellence based on quality and patient safety metrics.
As you can see, there is an emphasis on quality care. However, quality care cannot stand alone without a corresponding emphasis on patient safety. Interestingly, for many reasons of which you’ll learn during your time here, there is very little known about patient safety in the ambulatory setting and even less known about it in a residency training clinic. We started a Patient Safety Event Tracking project a few years ago. Our initial data was presented at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Program Director’s Workshop and the project is ongoing. We hope our research will positively contribute to improving patient safety in a family medicine residency training clinic.
Our multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers allows additional opportunities to augment your learning and our patients’ care. Dr. Deepak Patel, a board certified sports medicine and family medicine physician, precepts sports injuries and orthopedic complaints in our clinic. Several hands-on, practical musculoskeletal workshops will further refine your musculoskeletal exam techniques and diagnostic skills. You are welcome to join him at a high school football game where he serves as the sideline team physician. Additionally, Dr. Leena Vajaria is a Doctor of Pharmacology and a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist. Dr. Vajaria provides comprehensive disease state management and recommendations for optimizing therapy.
Our hospital also provides an ideal setting for the inpatient experience. Our award-winning community hospital is known for its advanced medicine and provides an ideal setting for the inpatient experience. As an unopposed program, the opportunities for you to learn here are endless. Our residency and clinic are on campus and adjoined to the hospital. Even with the continued growth of our different institutes, we have retained that “small-town” atmosphere where everyone knows you by name.
We are fortunate to have a Wound Care Center,on campus, located next door to our Family Medicine Clinic. You’ll learn to treat a variety of wounds, from diabetic foot ulcers to pressure ulcers to ulcers from peripheral arterial disease. The Center also has two hyperbaric oxygen chambers.
Our open ICU offers tremendous learning when you work side by side our board certified intensivists and participate in multidisciplinary rounds. They are a great group of enthusiastic teachers!
Like most community hospitals, we do not have an inpatient psychiatry unit. However, Rush-Copley Medical Center does have daily inpatient psychiatry coverage, another opportunity for collaborating and learning.
It’s not just the technology, expertise, or facility that’s important, it’s also the people. They say it’s the people that make the place and I am exceptionally proud of our group. While there are many ways to describe the people at our program, our residents have done it the best: “People here have great work values and uphold them to the fullest” and there is “a fun-loving ‘we’re all in this together’ type of attitude.” The sense of family in our program is palpable.
We have a wonderful, experienced, diverse, and enthusiastic group of faculty with over 75 years of combined teaching experience. We’ve been described by our residents as a “strong faculty who like to teach” with a “strong collegiality among residents and attendings.” We are thrilled and honored that some of our graduates are now teaching attending within our program. You’ll find that our faculty each have their own unique teaching style that facilitates your individual learning.
Our residents are smart, knowledgeable, hardworking and fun-loving, an irresistible combination that leads to a supportive environment conducive for learning. Our clinic staff is dedicated to working with the residents, helping to teach as well as playing a valuable role on the healthcare team. Several of our staff have been here since the inception of our residency program!
Our hospital medical and nursing staff are supportive of our residents and our teaching mission. Both are actively engaged in your training and a representative from each attends residency graduation each year to give the Resident of the Year Award. It is quite an honor for a resident to receive one of these coveted awards.
We are committed to teaching you how to become the best family physician that you can be. Our 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. Our goal is that by the time of graduation, you are a competent and qualified family physician, ready to practice quality and safe medicine independently.
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!