Our program embraces evidence-based medicine, competency-based curriculum, as well as longitudinal studies. We are committed to providing high-quality educational and clinical experiences that help meet the resident’s career goals.
Each resident learns how primary care physicians appropriately involve specialists on each rotation. Curriculum, evaluations, and program improvement are designed to ensure residents obtain competence in six core areas:
- Patient Care
- Medical Knowledge
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Systems-Based Practice
Our osteopathic residents participate in the UW DFMCH Statewide Osteopathic Collaborative. Through statewide workshops and local experiences, they are trained in and evaluated on osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), an additional core competency for osteopathic residents.
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)
The practice of evidence-based medicine requires lifelong learning and information mastery to allow physicians to continuously remain up to date while improving clinical behavior and patient outcomes. We incorporate EBM in our teaching and patient care. To assist the residents in focusing on EBM, we provide:
- Computers with internet access for all residents
- Inclusion of an EBM component in virtually all education conference topics
- Instruction on practical EBM techniques and critical appraisal of the medical literature
- Evidence-based approach to ordering laboratory tests
Our longitudinal approach allows for studying and developing necessary skills throughout residency training using a variety of settings and methodologies. In addition to the structured curriculum for required rotations, longitudinal study includes didactics, competency-based training, patient care, direct observation, video recording and medical simulation.
Working with preceptors at Mayo Clinic Health System, residents learn to diagnose and treat problems of the cardiovascular system pertinent to family medicine. Residents experience patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings, and learn the appropriate involvement of specialists and the coordination of health care personnel in the care of the hospitalized cardiac patient.
Each resident participates in longitudinal experiences as well as a two-week dedicated rotation in Community Medicine. Residents gain knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social behavioral sciences as they apply care of the patient in the community context.
Residents participate in community programs by volunteering at the local free clinic, staffing first aid booths and providing health information, and presenting educational programs at schools or businesses.
Critical Care Unit/Intensive Care Unit
By the end of this rotation, residents diagnose and manage patients with acute and chronic pulmonary conditions: pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress, cardiopulmonary arrest, pulmonary edema and sleep disorders.
Residents participate in excellent hands-on experiences through a longitunal component of this curriculum, and learn to diagnose and manage dermatologic problems and perform dermatologic procedures common to family practice. In addition, residents complete American Academy of Dermatology training modules to round out this experience.
Residents spend rotation time in the emergency department of Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as the St. Paul Children’s Hospital emergency department. Residents learn prompt assessment, intervention and disposition, which are critical skills for emergency medicine. Each resident manages patients as a member of a health care team dealing with multiple patient encounters.
Family Medicine Service
PGY1 residents learn to practice inpatient Family Medicine and utilize appropriate community resources and hospital interdisciplinary teams (social workers, dieticians, palliative care providers). PGY1 residents also participate in hospital rounding with faculty and senior residents.
As a PGY2 or PGY3, the resident is responsible for direct inpatient care with progressive levels of responsibility. Residents diagnose, provide proper therapeutic management, and consult with specialists for the common major diseases when appropriate. Senior residents also supervise and teach PGY1 residents.
Residents learn to assess patients with potential surgical problems, care for them pre-operatively and post-operatively, and assist the surgeon during operative procedures. This curriculum emphasizes:
- The importance of the family physician and surgeon collaborating as partners in the evaluation of and decision-making for the care of surgical patients,
- The principles involved in differentiating the causative origins of clinical symptoms resulting in the need for medical versus surgical intervention,
- Sensitivity to the patient’s and family’s concerns regarding the potential need for surgical intervention.
The primary educational goals during this rotation are for residents to be able to diagnose and treat gynecologic problems, perform gynecologic procedures and know when to obtain gynecologic consultation.
Hospitalist and Internal Medicine
During the hospitalist rotations, residents learn to diagnose, treat, and manage patients as inpatients. Each resident has the opportunity to work with several hospitalists and intern medicine physicians. Residents also learn important communication skills required to accept a patient and transfer the patient back to their own primary care physician.
Human Behavior and Mental Health
Residents learn how to care for patients’ physical and psychosocial needs. This is accomplished through a four-week rotation, as well as a longitudinal, competency-based curriculum, combined with individual coaching from our faculty Clinical Social Worker.
We teach major aspects of mental illness, motivational interviewing, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, in addition to assessment skills, family counseling skills, and community agency referrals. Using a solution-focused approach, residents learn to help patients change their lifestyle to positively impact their health.
Management of Health Systems (Practice Management and Quality Improvement)
Management of Health Systems training is made up of a two-week dedicated rotation as well as several longitudinal experiences. This rotation includes:
- Exploring different practice organizational and business models
- Developing skills needed to efficiently lead and improve a medical practice
- Personnel management including an active role in resident recruitment and interviews
- Negotiation of physician contracts
- Coding and billing
- Medical records
Residents attend clinic staff meetings throughout their residency, and lead an interdisciplinary team to complete a quality improvement project.
Maternity care has long been a strong component of the Eau Claire residency program. Obstetrics rotations take place with Sacred Heart Hospital, which offers a balanced experience in low-risk, high-risk, and operative obstetrics. The hospital has a friendly, high-touch style comfortable for family physicians and their patients. Residents may participate in deliveries at both Sacred Heart and Mayo Health System Hospitals.
All family medicine faculty members practice and teach maternity care. Residents also lead and participate in mock OB codes at Sacred Heart Hospital. Residents are taught obstetrical ultrasound skills in our clinic by residency faculty.
Musculoskeletal Systems (Orthopedics/Sports Medicine)
The ultimate goal of this curriculum is optimal patient care by the family physician, with or without an orthopedic consultant. During this rotation, residents learn how to order and interpret appropriate diagnostic tests, diagnose and manage common musculoskeletal problems and manage pre- and post-operative care of orthopedic patients. Residents also perform common procedures such as closed reductions, splinting, joint injections and aspirations.
Residents diagnose and manage common neurologic problems and learn when to refer the patient to a specialist. Residents are also involved with rehabilitation services of patients with neurologic problems e.g., stroke, head trauma, etc.
Residents diagnose and manage ophthalmologic problems, perform complete history and physical exams of the ophthalmologic system, use a slit lamp, perform tonometry on patients in the office setting, recognize and treat corneal abrasions, and discuss diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmologic conditions.
Our preceptors work one-on-one with residents to educate them in diagnosing and managing ear, nose, and throat disorders Residents are trained to use the indirect laryngoscope, nasal speculum, head lamp, otoscope and cerumen spoon.
Eau Claire residents gain a broad range of pediatric experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
PGY1 residents complete two pediatric rotations. At the local hospital, residents work one-on-one with an attending pediatrician to care for all newborn, special care nursery, and general acute care pediatric patients. During the second part of the academic year they work at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN, with an inpatient family medicine team to treat children with acute and chronic illnesses.
Residents in their PGY2 and PGY3 years round out their pediatric training experience with two four-week rotations scheduled with local pediatricians in their busy outpatient practices. PGY3 residents also experience an additional two-week rotation at the St. Paul Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.
During this rotation, residents learn to diagnose and manage patients with common pulmonary conditions such as COPD, asthma, pulmonary nodule, pneumonia, pleural effusions, and pulmonary embolism.
Residents learn appropriate test selection, participate in invasive imaging and interpreting radiologic images from outpatient and inpatient settings with highly skilled radiologists.
Residents learn to diagnose common rheumatologic conditions by completing thorough, rheumatologic-focused histories and physicals. They also learn to properly perform common rheumatologic procedures pertinent to family medicine such as joint aspiration and corticosteroid injections.
Residents diagnose and manage patient urological problems and perform common urological procedures. Residents gain a clear understanding of normal growth, development, and variants of urogenital anatomy through the life span. They also assess and treat common reproductive tract infections, diseases of the anogenital tract, and neoplastic disease of the genital tract.