Group Health Cooperative
The Group Health Cooperative Family Medicine Residency is one of the original 11 family medicine residency programs in the nation. We continue to lead in education for the future of family medicine. Our goal is to provide training within one of the most advanced and highly functional health care systems in our nation so that our residents graduate with the skills necessary to provide tomorrow's primary care.
Group Health is recognized as one of the nation's leaders in health care innovation and the development of the patient-centered medical home. The Group Health Family Medicine Residency is one of Group Health's clinics and, as a result, prepares graduates ready to provide excellence in primary care.
Our philosophy of residency training recognizes the importance of training in a state-of-the-art primary care clinic. The residency is centered on the idea of "clinic first," where the residents' first priority is caring for their own panel of patients. This emphasis on training in the outpatient setting ensures that our graduates master the core skills of a family physician.
Diversity and Independence
The program provides a full spectrum of outpatient settings including both urban and underserved training opportunities. We also have a strong hospital experience in medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics. We offer training in pre-operative care, surgical assist, cesarean section assist, postoperative care, and minor surgical procedures. Residents gain in-depth experience in proactive population management, health care team leadership, and community-based chronic care skills, which we see as essential for family medicine.
We are a community-based, unopposed program that is education-driven rather than service-driven. Our residents develop a peer relationship with Group Health physicians and our faculty who are excellent clinicians and educators, and are your colleagues in the provision of care. Decisions within the residency are consensus-based.
Group Health, established in 1947, is a nonprofit, consumer-governed, integrated care delivery system. We are the only residency in our organization, and our residents benefit from experience with a wide range of specialists and generalists, with an emphasis on 1:1 teaching and direct “hands-on” learning. Group Health sets the benchmark for provision of care in a medical home model. We have the highest level of accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and consistently rank among the top few managed care programs nationally. Group Health’s approach to quality includes state-of-the-art clinical information systems organizing clinical data to facilitate population-based and evidence-based care.
Our core residency faculty includes nine family physicians, two social workers and a pharmacist, supported by a full range of affiliated specialists. The faculty family physicians maintain their own clinical practices at least half-time to ensure continued excellence of skills. Several of our faculty members have added qualifications in adolescent, sports, and geriatric medicine.
The Residency Clinic
The family medicine residency clinic is a central part of the learning experience throughout the three years of residency and provides full-spectrum outpatient training. Residents are the primary care physicians for a diverse group of patients throughout their three years. The average number of face-to-face visits increases from about 400 in the first year to 1400-1700 over the next two years. Our residents also routinely perform an equal number of telephone and email encounters during residency with a matching training curriculum in digital medicine. We are the only residency in the nation that is allowed to count telephone and email encounters towards graduation. The clinic includes two minor operating rooms, a counseling room, a library, and plentiful opportunities for faculty and residents to interact. There are also opportunities for away rotations, including our global health site in Guatemala and primary care clinic away rotation.
Unique Aspects of the Curriculum Include:
Patient Centered Medical Home: We are a national leader in training residents in the patient-centered medical home. Patient-centered team-based care, a robust electronic medical record, point-of-care evidence-based medicine tools, prospective panel management, and advanced patient access are all components of training.
Teen Pregnancy and Parenting Clinic: A unique team approach for care of an underserved population includes provision of prenatal care, obstetric services, and parenting skills for adolescents and their children. The team includes family medicine faculty and residents, a nurse clinician, social worker, nutritionist, WIC certifier and childbirth educator.
HIV Clinic: A multidisciplinary clinic, which is family-medicine based and includes family medicine physician, a pharmacist, nursing and social work. Patients representing the full spectrum of HIV care needs come to this clinic for evaluation and treatment. Residents have the opportunity to receive focused HIV training with the potential to receive HIV-provider certification during residency.
Community Medicine: This is a two-month experience designed to give exposure to community resources outside of Group Health. This 2-month longitudinal block includes training in one of Seattle’s nearby community health centers, the King County health department, the county jail, the TB clinic, needle exchange program, the sexual assault center, healthcare for the homeless, restaurant inspection and more.
Art of Family Medicine: This is a special time created for the last four-week block of the first year of residency. The purpose of the block is to create a time for reflection on the experiences of becoming a family physician. There is a focus on bonding with fellow first year residents, honing skills needed in a busy outpatient clinic setting, and establishing a balanced approach to a career in medicine. A connection between literature and medicine is emphasized and residents read and discuss three books during the block.
Women’s Health: Our high-volume obstetrics training includes work with obstetricians, family medicine physicians and nurse midwives which fosters a busy and rich learning experience. Residents perform, on average, over 100 deliveries and a full spectrum of obstetrical procedures during residency. Early abortion training is also integrated into the curriculum with options counseling for unintended pregnancies and training in medical and surgical abortions. An opt out curriculum is offered for those who request it.
Further requests for information about the residency, the community, and the application process should be directed to: