Three-Year ACGME-accredited Residency
Inpatient and ambulatory medicine serving a diverse, safety-net population
State-of-the-art Whittier Clinic
Certification in integrative and holistic medicine
Training in high-risk OB, gestational diabetes and prenatal and parenting group visits
Certified Medical Home facility
Opportunities for sports medicine and international rotations
Training family physicians for urban, rural, and global practice
Established in 1969, the Family Medicine Residency at Hennepin Healthcare remains at the forefront of primary care. Residents gain immediate, hands-on experience working with a diverse patient population. Our residents use the latest technology and learn from dedicated teaching staff and specialists. Our program features holistic and integrative medicine, women’s health, sports medicine, geriatrics, and international health.
Emphasis on Leadership
We emphasize resident leadership and a multidisciplinary approach that builds strong, collegial relationships at all levels. Our graduates develop clinical expertise, effective communication, leadership skills, and practical management techniques. Many pursue fellowships or accept teaching faculty positions across the country.
Family Medicine residents enjoy a weekly academic half-day (five hours) of protected time to focus on didactics, procedures, and research. Resident wellness and resilience is a top priority. Our curriculum incorporates stress management, mind-body medicine, and other holistic techniques across rotations.
- Nationally recognized Staged Diabetes Management
- Well developed Health Care Home program launched and accredited in 2011 by the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Procedural training in OB-GYN procedures, skin biopsies, colposcopies, sports injury casting, and more.
- Certification in Integrative Medicine using curriculum developed by the University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine.
- Sports medicine training
- Multifaceted Centering Pregnancy model for group prenatal care, designed to lower pre-term birth rates.
- Urban and rural rotations, with opportunities for international rotations. View a blog from one of our former residents, Dr. Justin Corbin, about his international rotation in Samoa.
What is the "community" in Community Medicine?
At Hennepin Healthcare, FMR Community Medicine is not just a rotation, but a rich experience embedded in our rotations, didactic and longitudinal curriculum as well as the core mission of our hospital and affiliated clinics.
Our residents connect with the community we serve by participating in community outreach projects and developing an advocacy project with their classmates that spans the full 3 years.
Interdisciplinary Team-Based Care
Whittier Clinic, the primary clinic for Family Medicine residents, offers many services on-site:
- Addiction Medicine
- Aqui – Para- Ti (wrap around adolescent care for at risk Latinx youths)
- Chiropractic Care
- Community Health Workers
- Diabetes Education
- Lactation Consultants
- Occupational Therapy
- PharmD consultation
- Physical Therapy
- On site psychologists
- Sleep Medicine
- Social Work
- Specialist consultation(General Surgery, Cardiology, OB/Gyn, Podiatry)
- Sports Medicine
Resident wellbeing and resilience have been the focus of our program for nearly 20 years. Since many factors influence our sense of wellbeing, our model explores wellness across various domains: physical, psychological, spiritual, occupational, environmental, financial, social, and intellectual wellness. The bi-monthly, 90-minute wellness seminars aim to 1) build skills to help residents rebalance and reduce the effects of stress in their life, and 2) provide experiential opportunities to implement strategies for restoration (e.g., mindfulness, breathing techniques, yoga, tai chi, walking meditation, cooking/nutrition). Additionally, interns gather quarterly for intern support group to explore experiences unique to the first-year resident experience. We also offer annual retreats and host a “Family & Significant Other Orientation” at the beginning of the academic year.
Other resources offered within the greater Hennepin Healthcare Graduate Medical Education system include mental and physical health care services, massage therapy services, a workout room, and financial planning services.
All residents participate in our innovative curriculum that utilizes high and low tech interactive learning modalities (from high fidelity simulation and task trainers, to case-based learning sessions) to teach procedural and clinical skills, medical knowledge, and promote inter-professional collaboration. These sessions are interspersed throughout the 3 years of residency. This curriculum enhances team-based care, addresses systemic problems by producing possible system solutions, works to enhance patient safety and ultimately improves patient care.
Additionally, our FM team participates in the multidisciplinary maternity care sims on Labor and Delivery.
Within our sports medicine curriculum, residents learn from faculty with a CAQ in sports medicine. They rotate in the sports medicine clinics at our Whittier and Richfield Clinic locations. Additionally during the PGY-2 year, residents participate in a didactic course at the University of Minnesota. Residents may also assist team physicians with local high school sports teams.
The Behavioral Science curriculum focuses on integrating a biopsychosocial framework into medical care in efforts to meet the individual needs of patients and families.
- Monthly seminars during core conference didactics
- Patient-Centered Grand Rounds
- Simulation training
- 1:1 observation
- Video Review
- Workshops (e.g., motivational interviewing)
- “Enhanced Care Clinic” (multidisciplinary case conference)
- Project ECHO (multidisciplinary case conference for addiction & chronic pain)
- Week-long training in Addiction Medicine at Hazelden Betty Ford Treatment Center
Block Rotation: Residents in their 2nd or 3rd year may choose elective rotations with Psychiatry Consult-Liaison Service and/or Addiction Medicine.
Clinic-based Learning: Residents have opportunities to consult with and provide team-based care alongside several disciplines: psychologists, consulting psychiatrists, addiction specialist, social workers, a team of community health workers, RN care manager, and financial counselors.
Residents receive training in medical group visits throughout their training. All residents facilitate a Centering Pregnancy and Centering Parenting group, in which they care for a group of prenatal patients through their pregnancies, deliveries, and into the first year of well childcare.
Residents also work with our Integrative Faculty during their group visits which include “Aging Gracefully” and other lifestyle-related groups. They also have the opportunity to partner with these faculty to design and implement a group visit in an area of special interest during elective time.
In addition to embedding principles of Integrative Medicine into our core curriculum, residents may participate in 200 hours of online training through the University of Arizona and completed certification in this discipline.
At the end of PGY-1, residents can opt for additional, focused training in Integrative Medicine outside the core curriculum, using several formats and modalities during their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years.
- Performing integrative medicine interviews with patients;
- Populating functional timelines and matrix;
- Formulating patient-centered integrative health treatment programs; and
- Implementing integrative medicine longitudinally in their primary patients.
Personal study and self-care:
- Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) core lectures and videos;
- Identifying a personal focus area to study, such as women’s health, herbal therapy, nutrition, or cardio-metabolic syndrome;
- Self-evaluation throughout the rotation on diet, digestion, exercise, energy, sleep, stress, support;
- Observing and experiencing the treatments of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners who work at Whittier Clinic, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and traditional healers;
- Participating in the “Integrative Medicine 4 Us” and Pillsbury House for community service; and
- Delivering a journal club lecture on an integrative health topic.
Our longitudinal geriatric curriculum prepares our graduates to provide the highest quality care for older patients - an important skill, as more than 20 million adults over age 85 are estimated to need medical care by 2050.
In addition to the traditional core curriculum and direct patient care, residents can opt for additional, focused training in Geriatrics towards the end of the PGY-1 year, using a longitudinal approach during their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years. These residents take on additional geriatric rotations and gain experience in nursing home administration, hospice, and palliative care, and the skills needed to provide care to ambulatory older patients.
All residents rotate in the Whittier Clinic procedure clinic, held twice each week. Residents perform joint injections, basic and advanced skin procedures, vasectomies, and other procedures.
Elective Rotations including rural or international experiences
We offer a wide variety of elective opportunities, encompassing any specialty clinic located at Hennepin Healthcare. If you do not find what you are looking for, our residents are able to create their own elective, under faculty guidance, to design a learning experience specific to their interests. Additionally, we have ongoing relationships with international sites in Tanzania and the Philippines, or residents may pursue opportunities abroad that they have researched on their own.
Family Medicine residents enjoy a weekly academic half day of protected time (five hours) to focus on didactics, procedures, and research.
Our program features a strong emphasis on obstetrics, and the inclusion of integrative medicine, geriatric care, and home health care principles across the curriculum.
Wednesday Core Conference
- Protected half-day of didactic, academic learning organized around organ systems
Special Workshops and Focused Learning Opportunities
- Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center Learning (SIM)
- Hands-on, situational learning to build teamwork and skills
- Takes place in Hennepin Healthcare’s state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Simulation and Education Center
- Staged Diabetes Management
- Full day workshop to learn progressive management of diabetes patients
- Gestational Diabetes Management
- A half-day workshop to learn the management of patients with gestational diabetes
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
- Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO)
- Adolescent Workshop
- Intensive training for PGY-2 residents
- Specially trained high school students (generally those who are peer educators) role play teens visiting the doctor
- Residents interview and interact with the teens, and then gain real-time feedback from both the teens and faculty facilitators
- Integrative Medicine/Functional Medicine
- 200-hour self-learning course offered by University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine
- Hands-on clinical experiences with fellowship trained Integrative Medicine faculty, including group visits
- CME days available
About Our Faculty
Experienced and Diverse Faculty Focused on Teaching
Twenty three teaching faculty lead the Family Medicine residency, including geriatrics, integrative medicine, sports medicine, and international health. Many are nationally recognized leaders in their fields with extensive clinical and academic healthcare experience. More than 70% of our teaching faculty completed Faculty Development Fellowships at the University of Minnesota, and all hold university appointments.
- Allyson Brotherson, MD, Interim Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare
- Charles Anderson, MD, MBA, Sports Medicine, Vice Chair- Departmental and Faculty Affairs
- Michelle Karsten, MD, Residency Program Director, Hennepin Healthcare
- Kimberly Petersen, MD, Associate Program Director, Director of Family Medicine Inpatient Services, Hennepin Healthcare
- Marchion Hinton, PhD, Associate Program Director, Behavioral Medicine
- Praveen Tupakula, MBBS, Medical Director of Whittier Clinic
- Analisa Calderon, MD
- Chandra Cherukuri, MBBS, Geriatrics, Sleep Medicine
- David Councilman, MD
- Susan Haddow, MD, ABIHM, Integrative Medicine
- Susan Hasti, MD
- Sandra McTavish, CNP, Geriatrics
- Kirsten Morissette, MD
- Ayham Moty, MD
- Nancy Newman, MD, Behavioral Medicine
- Tsewang Ngodup, MD, Geriatrics
- Kara Parker, MD, Integrative Medicine
- Lourdes Pira, MD
- Rachel Rapacz, MD
- Kristin Schwaca, DO
- Veronica Svetaz, MD, MPH, Adolescent Medicine
- Sadhana Vanka, MBBS, Sleep Medicine
- Jenna Walters, MD
The first year of the Family Medicine Residency program prepares residents for inpatient medical and emergency care, including obstetrics and pediatrics, and sets the groundwork for essential outpatient skills and practice. Our residents work collaboratively with other Hennepin Healthcare residency programs, building relationships and taking advantage of broad educational opportunities within our healthcare system. Family Medicine residents also teach medical students on the inpatient service.
The inpatient Family Medicine Services includes adult, pediatric, and obstetric patients from our own practice at Whittier Clinic, as well as patients from three additional Hennepin Healthcare primary care community clinics.
At Whittier clinic, G1 residents develop skills in outpatient primary care as they build their own practice panel. We use the “Clinic First” model which prioritizes continuity in the clinic by maintaining a stable clinic day that patients and residents can rely on.
Orientation occurs weekly during the first two months of training. During this time, residents participate in team-building and skill-building activities and learn essential skills for integration into the residency program.
PGY-2 residents take on a leadership role on the inpatient Family Medicine Service, monitoring the work of interns, and medical students and supervising the care of all inpatients under the guidance of faculty.
Outpatient experiences are set at Whittier Clinic, as well as at Hennepin Healthcare’s specialty clinics, and include dermatologic, orthopedic, and gynecologic procedures as part of everyday practice. Our Preventive Medicine rotation highlights the year, where residents get personalized one-on-one teaching in clinic and spend one week at the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center. Ambulatory experiences include work at the Whittier procedure clinic, where residents learn procedures common to family medicine.
During PGY-2, residents begin a longitudinal experience at Chateau Nursing Home, developing continuity relationships with geriatric patients. Most residents will also begin their Centering Pregnancy groups in the second year.
Our third year focuses intensively on continuity clinic practice at the Whittier Clinic location. Residents build their knowledge and apply their skills to care and management of patients with complex healthcare needs.
Outpatient rotations take advantage of Hennepin Healthcare’s various specialty clinics to address common primary care problems, such as rheumatology, geriatrics, ENT, cardiology, gynecology and urogynecology, outpatient pediatrics, and adolescent medicine.
Specific third-year experiences include:
- Outpatient pediatrics, working with community pediatricians;
- Outpatient procedures, including colposcopy, orthopedic, and gynecologic procedures;
- Specialty clinics in geriatrics, palliative care, and long-term care;
- Specialty clinics in urology, otolaryngology, and ophthalmology;
- Longitudinal care of nursing home patients and home visit care.
Residents maintain their inpatient skills with two months as the senior resident on the Family Medicine Service, with additional responsibilities for teaching and supervision of PGY-1 residents and medical students.
About Our Rotations
Diverse Rotations with Multiple Elective Options
Family Medicine Inpatient Service
One of the gems of our program, our team of Family Medicine residents and faculty run an independent, inpatient service drawing patients from 4 Hennepin Healthcare community clinics. We care for pediatrics, adult medicine, obstetrics and newborns and actively manage all inpatient care plans, consults, and discharge planning. Although our residents take primary responsibility for patient management, we have in-house faculty 24 hours a day for back up and teaching.
Family Medicine residents gain valuable experience with low- and high-risk pregnancies during their rotations. Residents rotate through one block under the guidance of the OB department, with opportunities for managing obstetrics on all FMS blocks (total of 7) and during night call. Residents have opportunities to perform all OB procedures, including vacuum-assisted deliveries, and manage laboring patients with preeclampsia, preterm deliveries, and gestational diabetes.
All Family Medicine inpatient faculty practice obstetrics and several serve on multi-disciplinary committees to help foster better communication and patient care. Five faculty members are Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) instructors, including one nationally recognized ALSO Advisory Faculty.
Each resident takes the ALSO course in PGY-1 and again in PGY-2 or PGY-3 to enhance their skill and improve confidence when handling labor and delivery emergencies. Our residents have successfully managed dystocia and postpartum hemorrhage, and routinely cite the ALSO course as increasing their ability to manage these situations.
Another highlight is training in Centering Pregnancy. All residents have the opportunity to co-facilitate their own prenatal group to learn this care model that has proven effective in lowering pre-term birth rates.
Our training includes a wide variety of experiences in Pediatric care. Including 2 inpatient rotations at Hennepin Healthcare and one at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, and a dedicated rotation in the Pediatric ED. We offer a specific outpatient rotation with focused learning in both general and adolescent Pediatrics, Centering Parenting group visits as well as a robust pediatric population in the Whittier clinic.
On the inpatient medicine service, our residents learn alongside several other programs as fully participating members of the team and complete an MICU experience in the G2 year.
- Documents submitted through ERAS and the NRMP
- USMLE or COMLEX transcript
- Three or four letters of recommendation, with at least one from a US clinical supervisor.
- Eligibility for licensure in Minnesota
- This requires passage of all components of the USMLE within a seven-year time span, from the first attempt of USMLE through successful completion of Step 3, and no more than 3 attempts at any one step.
- Meet the following USMLE or COMLEX exam requirements:
- Our program prefers the first-time pass on the USMLE steps 1 and 2. We give preference to graduates with a minimum score of 215.
- International medical graduates must submit passing Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores before their applications will be considered.
- USMLE Step 2 or COMLEX Level 2 exam results are not required for current medical students but are preferred for interview selection. Please submit scores as soon as they are available. Passing scores must be submitted for ranking.
- Medical school graduation within 5 years of application; and patient care experience within five years of application. Medical schools must appear in one of the following directories:
- Letters of Recommendation (minimum 3) including at least one from a US clinical supervisor and preference for at least one from a Family Physician
- ECFMG certification for international medical graduates
- Citizenship, permanent residency, or ability to obtain a J-1 visa.
- Excellent written and spoken English language communication skills
- Qualified to begin work around June 10th of residency start year.
- Couples match applicants considered
- Eligible applicants will be contacted to schedule interviews starting after the ERAS open date on a rolling basis as applications are reviewed. However, due to the high level of interest in our program, we are not able to interview all applicants.
- Interview days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
- Interviews are required for admission to our program.
- We will have an online interview process for the Fall of 2022 Interview season. In-person interview opportunities may be available based on evolving public health precautions. In either format, there will be an opportunity to meet program leadership, faculty, and residents, as well as a tour of our community, hospital, and Whittier clinic.
The Family Medicine Residency at Hennepin Healthcare is ACGME accredited.
What Sets Us Apart?
Diverse patient experience.
Residents treat a cross-cultural population with a wide variety of illnesses and issues, from diabetes and sports injuries to obstetrics and tropical infections.
Community and advocacy.
All residents participate in either a community advocacy project throughout the 3 years, determined by each class; or the anti-racism curriculum implementation project; as well as community events.
Strong inpatient and outpatient training.
Residents develop essential skills to manage hospitalized patients and help them transition to manage their own outpatient patient panel, as well as designing and implementing clinic quality improvement measures.
Our integrative medicine curriculum focuses treatment on the whole patient and demonstrates how to incorporate holistic concepts into regular practice. Outpatient training focuses on acupuncture, physical therapy, behavioral health and chiropractic care.
Hennepin Healthcare operates a paperless environment, with Epic integrated electronic health records available in all locations. Our clinics feature the latest equipment, with access to additional services on the main HCMC campus. Residents train for real-life scenarios in our simulation and education center.
Collegial, multidisciplinary environment.
Our residents work and learn within family medicine, function as interns for cardiology, pediatrics, surgery, and other specialties. As an academic system, teaching and research are priorities for all attending physicians.
About Our Facility
Whittier Clinic serves as the main site for family medicine residents. Whittier Clinic provides immediate, on-site access to everything from x-ray, ultrasound, and laboratory services to a dedicated support staff of social workers, physical therapists, interpreters, and other professionals.