Frequently Asked Questions (with answers!)

Does the patient population of the practice allow for an adequate variety of patients?
Belleville Family Medicine Center patients represent all sectors of urban and rural areas allowing a wide variety of experiences for our residents. Our preference for treating the whole family enables the resident to see a number of prenatal and pediatric patients, families in various stages of development as well as geriatric patients. This demographic distribution of patients enables the resident to gain valuable experiences and give continuous and comprehensive medical care.

What is the outpatient clinical load for each year of residency?
First year residents are assigned a small panel of patients and spend one to two half-days in clinic per week. For second year residents, the panel of patients grows and residents spend two to three half-days. Third year residents have a panel of patients nearing 500 and they are in clinic three to four half days per week. Incoming residents have patients spaced for longer intervals to allow adequate time to handle their visits. This interval shortens slightly each year as their clinical skills advance.

What types of procedures will we be allowed to do?
Our residents are trained by family medicine faculty in a variety of procedures including: colposcopy, cryosurgery, casting, splinting, colonoscopy, suturing and other minor surgery. In addition, many of the preceptors are willing to teach procedures specific to their practice.

How much obstetrical experience will I get?
There are minimal requirements and residents have no difficulty meeting them. If interested, residents can greatly exceed these requirements. There are two four-week blocks, one inpatient and one outpatient, during the first year. Residents also take OB call during their NICU rotation. During the second year, thereĀ are four weeks of OB night float. Management of prenatal patients occurs in all three years in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. Each resident is expected to graduate having cared for 15 private OB patients providing prenatal care and performing the delivery. There is ample opportunity for additional continuity patients if desired. Residents may make the OB experience as demanding as they wish and have the opportunity to learn advance obstetrical care to include c-sections.

Can you leave the area for an outside rotation?
Arrangements can be made to meet educational needs by outside rotations when additional educational experiences are desired. This is arranged through the program director and must meet the requirements of the Residency Review Committee and the program.

What didactic sessions are available?
Didactics are worked in at many levels throughout our training. Formal lectures are held once a week. Residents are excused from their rotations and required to spend 5 hours in these didactic sessions. The topics range from case presentations, procedural instructions to formal lectures. In addition, each morning at the beginning of inpatient rounds there is a case discussion where senior residents and faculty discuss with junior residents differential diagnosis and treatment plans. All residents take the family practice in-service exam each Fall and results are given with the answer book at the completion of the exam for further learning opportunities. During all rotations there is time for formal and informal one-on-one learning and teaching points with your preceptor.

Is the Residency University affiliated?
Belleville Family Medicine Residency is sponsored by Saint Louis University School of Medicine which allows the residency program the educational opportunities of a major university. The outpatient clinic operations are managed through Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation. As an off-site residency, we remain the only medical residency program in the Belleville community.

What is your on call system?
Call is every 4th night on inpatient services (8 months during first year, 2 months during second year and 2 months during third year). Additionally, call is every 7-14 days during the outpatient months during the first and second year with third year having no call except 2 inpatient months. There is also an OB night float system during the second year. The surgery call schedule is arranged with the surgeon, which generally ranges from q5-7.

Other than local hospitals, are there other community agencies used for rotations?
A wide variety of non-traditional delivery sites are utilized as environments for residents to gain experience. These community agencies deliver assorted and comprehensive services to various populations with health care needs. These populations include the underprivileged/underserved, geriatrics, child bearing, HIV/AIDS patients and the terminally ill.

How do the military and civilian residents interact?
Our program is a joint program with the United States Air Force family practice residency program. Typically, each class will consist of half military residents and half civilian residents. We take all the same rotations, call, schedule, and didactics. Our faculty is also comprised of both military and civilian faculty, allowing us to create an even greater pool of talented teachers. Other than the uniforms and an occasional military-specific lecture or activity, our lives as residents are not marked by our military status. There are truly no divisions among the residents or the faculty and we consider ourselves one happy family. The civilians do not have to salute or do physical training!

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