Mission: Our mission is “Teaching Family Medicine to provide full spectrum compassionate care for communities in need”
Vision: To be a national leader in family medicine education, a clinical model of a medical home, and a collaborator in Pierce County resident education.
Values: We are committed to provide full scope family medicine in a spirit of service.
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Our core family medicine faculty boasts a wide variety of post-residency experience and years of teaching experience. All core faculty provide full scope outpatient and inpatient adult and pediatric care and obstetrics. We encourage interviewees to dialogue with the faculty and contact them by email.
We are unique, in having seven Obstetrician-Gynecologists as faculty, providing one of the most collegial family medicine/obstetric relationships available. Our OB/GYN teaching, labor management experience, and high risk prenatal clinic takes our OB experience way beyond “baby-catching”.
Our full-time Behavioral Scientist is a published authority on patient centered interviewing; our part time Pediatrician boasts urban underserved experience; our full-time Pharmacist is based in our clinic; and we have two Nurse Practitioners and a full time Social Worker—all to augment resident training/patient care.
In our building, we also have a psychiatrist who does consultations four days a week, and behavioral health counselors for our patients.
Residents enjoy each other’s company and routinely spend time together outside of work. Often each class gets together weekly after Thursday afternoon didactics. In addition to an all-residency retreat, residents cover for each other to optionally allow each class to have their own retreat each year.
Our graduates practice throughout the US and internationally. Since 1978 we have trained 223 residency graduates. 34% of those graduates practice in health care shortage areas with 25% practicing in rural communities. An updated map from the Graham center covers 145 graduates up to 2009 and is available at healthlandscape.org.
Yes! Tacoma has a sophisticated medical community that is supportive of resident education. Residents find willing local teachers in virtually all medical specialties who provide rich educational opportunities. Community voluntary faculty see you as “our resident.”
MultiCare Health System sponsors Tacoma Family Medicine. MultiCare is a not-for-profit, locally based health care organization that encompasses five hospitals and an extensive clinic network, with roots that go back to the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital in 1882. We are governed by a volunteer board of local community leaders.
Residents rotate through three main modalities of care:
Residents are responsible for their own panel of patients. Clinic time increases during each year of training. R1s have 1-2 half day clinics per week, R2s have 2-3 half day clinics per week, and R3s have 4-5 half day clinics per week. During each half-day of clinic, interns see 4-6 patients, R2s see 7-8 patients, and R3s see 9-10 patients so that at the end of their training they are seeing 19 patients per day.
Interns on the family medicine and inpatient adult medicine services are expected to be primarily responsible for 5-6 patients. Interns on the inpatient pediatric service are expected to be primarily responsible for 8 patients. Senior residents are expected to know the entire panel and provide supervision, support, and teaching for interns. In addition, both interns and senior residents routinely work with medical students on all three services.
Pierce County is the most ethnically diverse county in Washington State. We are an urban-underserved clinic with a large contingent of Medicaid/Medicare patients that incorporates diversity in race, language, social economics, ethnicity, physical and psychiatric disabilities, and patterns of pathology.
No, but we are on our way. As of 2013, we are one of three MultiCare clinics selected as pilots to obtain NCQA certification and we have already incorporated many elements of the PCMH.
Our duty-hour policies comply with the July 2011 ACGME rules. We use a night float system throughout the week and short call is Q4 for most inpatient rotations. Lighter call rotations include Q8 on average for interns on the internal medicine service and R2s taking senior call 2-3 times/month on outpatient rotations.
Our OB/Newborn service has its own call system on a Q4 noncompeting rotation that consists of two senior residents and two fellows. This allows continuity to an entire woman’s labor and delivery. R1s are paired with Fellows and released at 14 hours.
Most residents leave TFM with more than 80 total deliveries over three years. Residents more interested in OB routinely leave with 100 or more deliveries. Our goal is that all graduates provide competent prenatal care, manage labor well, properly conduct a vaginal delivery and repair, and be a good first assistant at C-section. Proficiency in C-sections by graduation is a goal but we don't guarantee it.
Several of our faculty members have experience working in international settings. Third-year residents may request a one-month international rotation to be approved by the faculty. The purpose for international rotations should be congruent with career plans of the resident. The rotation must have an educational plan and goals; and needs an approved preceptor at the proposed site.
Tacoma Family Medicine has integrated structural support for the resident well-being. R1s receive a two-week initial orientation, and then weekly facilitated support group. Other supports include our night float call system, teaching panels with caps to maintain the education/service balance, collegial teams and our advisor system. We are sincere about having a climate of excellent education coupled with support.
Most of your education and growth will come from daily and weekly feedback. A clinical competence committee evaluates your progress semiannually, based on 360 feedback from preceptors/attendings, faculty, office staff/nurses, and patients. Your advisor acts as a guide and meets with you individually to help you plan your growth as a physician.
Didactics occur on Thursday afternoons with an 18-month repeating topic cycle covering all areas of family medicine. All residents are expected to attend with the exception of the on-call team, or on mandated post call off time. When a fifth Thursday occurs in a month, we present afternoon procedure workshops with lectures, procedural workstations, and basic competency training.
We have many other structured opportunities for learning to include: ICU teaching rounds, and monthly psychiatry case conferences, radiology rounds, pediatric grand rounds, and teaching medical students.
Our third-year residents complete an academic project in evidence based scholarship, researching an evidence-based answer to a clinical question, which is mentored and organized by trained faculty. The results are presented in a local CME presentation and with expectations they will be submitted for publication.
MultiCare Health System uses the EPIC electronic health records system, making us one of the top four integrated health care delivery systems in the nation. Our office, ED, and inpatient services all use the same electronic record and it is accessible from both home and mobile devices.
Our four Family Medicine Rural Fellows spend six months on OB and directly supervise R1s on OB. Senior residents a full members of a four person team with the Fellows in providing high risk prenatal care in OB Access Clinic (OBAC), providing NST/AFI clinic and running the OB labor deck. Supervision is provided by the OB Faculty.
No. The three emerging family medicine residencies in Tacoma (The Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, East Pierce Family Medicine, Community Health Care Residency), along with TFM, are collaborating to access our entire county for teaching resources. We are coordinating our efforts through the Pierce County Medical Society with the goal of having a nationally recognized consortium of high quality residencies in Pierce County.
Tacoma is a little big town, with family oriented people, a reasonable cost of living, recently re-built public schools, and ready access to outdoor activities. Resident’s partners have easily been able to find jobs. There are waterfront biking and walking paths, kayaking trips, fantastic parks, and museums for you and your family to flourish in. We encourage you to balance your life with fun and family, as well as medicine.
Residents' Top Reasons Why They Love Living in Tacoma: