The Family Practice Pathway

The department promotes careers in family and community medicine through the Family Practice Predoctoral Education Program, which is designed to develop and reinforce student interest in family medicine through pathway activities. The program provides guidance and advising for students from their first through fourth years of medical education. Student members enjoy unique curricular activities that serve as the foundation for their medical school education, such as the Pathway Open House and Forums, Family Medicine Interest Group's (FMIG) noontime lecture series, and monthly dinners with family medicine faculty and residents. Membership in the pathway program is voluntary and members are in no way obligated to pursue a career in family medicine. All students who are interested in becoming practicing primary-care physicians are encouraged to join.

What is family medicine?

Family medicine is a specialty of medicine that dedicates itself to the total health medical care of the patient. Characteristics of this commitment include:


  • Care of all ages, from infancy through adulthood, including pregnancy.


  • Continuity of care throughout life provided in ambulatory, inpatient, nursing homes and in-home care settings.


  • Comprehensive care that emphasizes wellness and the prevention of illnesses, diseases and disorders through acute, chronic and rehabilitative care.


  • Awareness of how family members interact and how those interactions affect the health and treatment of each family member.


  • Community factors, such as socio-economic, ethnic, religious, and work environment that influence and affect the health of the family and each individual.


  • The family physician may work to improve the community, in addition to recognizing and utilizing this knowledge in the care of the individual patient.


  • Mind-body integration, including seeking to learn the causes of stresses and resources, which are affecting the health of the patient and helping to enhance the strengths.


  • Humanism, respect for all individuals, focusing on the quality of the patient's life and dedication to developing a relationship with patient where the physician is a caring, nurturing partner.