The Time Is Now: A Plan to Redesign Family Medicine Residency Education

Fam Med. 2022 Jan;54(1):7-15. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2022.197486.


A new graduate medical education program in family medicine is urgently needed now. We propose an innovative plan to develop community-based, community-owned family medicine residency programs. The plan is founded on five guiding principles in which residencies will (1) transition to independent, community-owned organizations; (2) sustain comprehensiveness and generalism; (3) emphasize collaborative learning and interprofessional education; (4) develop local educators with national guidance; and (5) share resources, responsibilities, and learning. We describe actionable steps to begin the process of transforming residencies and strengthening primary care. As community-based and locally-run organizations, residencies will gain self-determination in how time is allocated, budgets are spent, and teams function. Building on the momentum of the National Academy of Medicine's 2021 primary care implementation plan and recommendations by family medicine organization leaders, we propose a Decade of Family Medicine Residency Transformation. We encourage individuals and organizations spanning disciplines, health care systems, and communities, to join forces to reimagine and recreate the preparation of outstanding personal physicians dedicated to individual and community health and well-being.