Family Med: Tips & Resources

Hi Everyone! I know I’ve been out of Family med for a while (> 1 week), but thought I’d put this post out there just in case any of you find this helpful.

As you can most likely ascertain from my previous posts, Family Med was a great rotation for me and this is likely because I worked in an Urgent Care Clinic. I will still need to do a proper Family med rotation as a PCE to see if this is a good fit for the future, but for what it’s worth, I’m pretty certain that if I get a chance to Moonlight during residency, I’ll do it in Urgent Care.

Outline of Urgent Care/Family Med rotation:

  • Hours: 9am-8pm three days per week (I personally love this type of
  • What to Wear: Business Casual. I wore my white coat if the doc I was with wore his, otherwise, I mostly tried to mimic their level of dressing.
    • Shoes: DANKSOS. I have pes planus and found these to be the most comfy, even if they are a little heavy to walk around in all day. I hear ya’ Priya.
  • Why I really liked this rotation:
    • Variety! Like our favorite IM doc from school, I loved that behind each door was an unexpected and different case. We had no scheduled appointments and as a result had either really busy days or slower summer-style days. Mondays were usually the busiest.
    • Low stress learning environment. My preceptor made sure that I knew this would be a safe learning zone. He encouraged me to take my time seeing patients, really practice taking a history and then present the case to him without feeling rushed. He also pushed me to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan on as many patients as possible. I really appreciated this as it helped guide my thinking on how to diagnose and treat.
    • Seeing normal variance within patient presentations. Simple cases like UTIs, cough/colds, esophageal spasms, musculoskeletal injuries, etc. were great to see as each of them had slightly different presentation and treatment plans.
    • Getting plugged into the medical community. Working with this clinic I was able to meet other DO’s and learn about what specific medical needs were lacking or in surplus in their region. It’s nice to build alliances with doctors that are willing to take students from our school before other schools get a hold of them.
  • What I wish I had more of:
    • Patient follow up. After patients are seen in the urgent care they either disappear into the netherworld or follow up w/ their primary. But there were a few interesting cases I’d like to have seen a conclusion to.
    • Procedures. For whatever reason, we did not see nearly as many lacerations as I would have liked and I didn’t get to do any suturing. A small bummer.

Here is a picture of me presenting a case to my preceptor, he is trying to stay awake and I am speaking quickly. 🙂 
preceptor TDC
Now begins the onslaught of resources. You can skip this part as needed.

Online Resources: 

Book Resources: 

  • Family Medicine Case Files
  • Blueprints Family Medicine
  • Step-Up to Medicine: Ch. 12 Ambulatory Medicine


  • COMBANK COMAT Family Medicine
  • COMBANK Step 2-CE – Family Medicine
  • UWorld
  • AAFP (create a free account)

General Advice:

  • Stay engaged. Only yawn if you’re tired and even then, hide it.
  • Read daily – try to pick one case each day to read about patient presentation, findings on physical exam, labs, indicated diagnostic testing, differential diagnoses, and treatment plans.
  • Make friends with everyone (not best friends, like EDC-status, but Be Friendly)
  • Be professional: dress the part, act appropriately (try not to laugh at weird things patients say), and don’t suck up (gross!)!
  • Consistency is key. Don’t be a different person each day.
  • Ask questions – engage your preceptor! Make it apparent that you have a clear thought process and you know where your knowledge gaps are!
  • Understand that patient’s don’t know how to tell you their history and it’s up to you to convert what they’re telling you to a communicable format for other medical professionals – don’t be frustrated by this!
  • Be Assertive, not confrontational – a fine line, but when used appropriately can help break down barriers and build relationships.
  • And finally, most importantly, Be Confident.

Last thing: remember, if you’re in Seattle, tell me so we can go Paddle-boarding together. Unless you’re a stranger and we’ve never met.



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