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Career Advising in Family Medicine

During medical school you will be exposed to the many different paths that becoming a physician can take. University of Colorado School of Medicine students who are considering a career in Family Medicine can  meet with an advisor from our department who will help with all aspects of  learning about and becoming a Family Physician. You can access our advisors at any time, from matriculation through matching in a Family Medicine residency. While our department has over 200 faculty members your first point of contact for career advising can be with the faculty members who are listed below. We welcome your inquiry at any point in medical school and are excited to assist you in discovering doctoring Family Medicine style.

Our Advisors

Co-Director, Medical Student Education
Block Director, RCC

Associate Director, Foundations of Doctoring
Brandy.Deffenbacher@ucden​ver.edu​​
303-724-5061


Kari Mader, MD MPH
Co-Director, Medical Student Education
Director, Family Medicine MSA
Director, 4th year FM electives
Kari.Mader@ucdenver.edu​
303-724-9707


Roberto Silva, MD​
Co-Director, Medical Student Education
Clerkship Director, ILMC
Assistant Director, Rural Track
Roberto.Silva@ucdenver.edu​
303-724-8418


Deb Seymour, PsyD
Associate Director, Foundations of Doctoring, Communication
Deb.Seymour@ucdenver.edu​
303-724-0971



Resources for  learning more about Family Medicine

There are many ways to explore primary care and specifically Family Medicine at University of Colorado, School of Medicine. A good starting  place is the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG).  FMIG is open to all students and hosts a variety of learning and social events  throughout the year. Some of the favorites are ‘night with needles’ which involves practice with giving shots and drawing blood and our lectures from leaders  of the Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center.

Nothing helps career exploration more than spending time with a Family Physician in action. If your preceptor for the Foundations of  Doctoring curriculum is not a Family Physician you can arrange to shadow in a  Family Medicine center or on a Family Medicine inpatient service by connecting  with one of our advisors. In addition to patient care, Family Physicians also engage in leadership, policy, public and community health and research activities. You could spend time learning about physician leadership with Dr. Colleen Conry who oversees all of the care provided in our 5 outpatient primary care offices. Consider spending a day at  the state capitol with Dr. Jeff Cain or learning  about the implementation of the patient centered medical  home (PCMH) with Dr. Kyle Knierim. Are you interested in learning more about where primary care and community based  research intersect? Dr. Larry Green is works with a local and national network of Family Physicians for whom research is  central to their caring for society. Those interested in practicing medicine in  a rural area will want to meet with Dr. Mark Deutchman who runs the rural track for the school of medicine.

There are also numerous local and national organizations dedicated to Family Medicine. The American Academy of Family Physicians (www.AAFP.org) represents 115,900 family physicians and is an excellent resource for learning about Family Medicine. The Colorado Academy of Family Physicians is the state organization for Family Medicine. The host several events each year for medical students and they involve medical students in their activities and legislative activity whenever possible. The Society of Teachers Family Medicine (STFM) is the ‘go to’ organization for Family Medicine educators. Don’t be surprised if you attend a STFM meeting to see numerous presentations feature medical students and Family Medicine residents. Finally, if you don’t know what the “triple aim” is or you want to know what research is creating policy that will impact the future of how medicine is practiced in the United States try the Robert Graham Center website.



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Diversity

Besides what students commonly see at their preceptor’s offices, family docs commonly “specialize” in:

  • Women’s Health
  • Medical Administration
  • Hospitalist Practice
  • Sports Medicine​
  • Correctional Medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Adolescent Care
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Academic Medicine

Investigate

Investigate the need for additional physicians in the FM specialty. For at least the last 15 years, students have been told that in a few years family physicians will be replaced by Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants.

On the contrary!  During this time, the need has increased, not decreased, and family physicians have continued to work with other providers collaboratively to enhance care.  So be cautious about hearsay and rumors about job availability.  Do your best to get the facts.

Family physicians will always be in demand given the numbers produced each year and the changing needs of our population.