A resident’s perspective on life at the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency
Primary care delivery is undergoing a transformation – and one that we at UW are excited about. The multidisciplinary team – with medical assistants, nurses, clinicians, clinical pharmacists, social workers, and behavioral health specialists all playing important roles – is emerging as essential to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care. The long-held paradigm of one doctor + one patient = a visit is bending, thanks to innovations such as group visits and team-based care management. The primary care physician of the future will need training in population health, advocacy and communication skills in addition to excellent clinical training. For new, hopeful physicians-in-training, it’s a great time to be in primary care, because we get to help shape this movement.
Thank you for your interest in the University of Washington family medicine residency program. We at UW are excited about the growing primary care movement and about training residents to be physician-leaders and innovators in this field. My three years of residency at UW went by seemingly quickly. In your shoes, I applied because of a desire to be in an academic medical center, serving an underserved, diverse patient population, and for the experiences in both rural and urban clinical training. With those formative years now complete, it’s amazing to look back and see the growth – both clinically and personally – that my peers and I have experienced.
We have outpatient continuity clinics at the UW Northgate Clinic and at the Harborview Family Medicine Clinic, with inpatient training at multiple sites – UW Medical Center, Harborview, Seattle Children’s Hospital, the VA Puget Sound Hospital. Other outpatient training takes place at the UW and Harborview specialty clinics, Planned Parenthood, and rural clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest, amongst others. Through these institutions, our clinical training is excellent, leaving us ready to practice anywhere. We have current residents pursuing additional training in reproductive health care, global health, palliative care, obstetrics, sports medicine, to name a few. Recent graduates work in rural practices, urban underserved FQHCs, international settings, public health, and academic medicine. Graduates have done fellowships in primary care research, sports medicine, obstetrics, the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program and the CDC epidemic intelligence service. We learn from each other and from our dedicated family medicine faculty, but also from our resident colleagues and faculty in other departments.
In addition, Seattle has been a great place to live. Surprisingly diverse and very welcoming to cyclists, it has all the attributes of any major city, but with a relaxed atmosphere and the idiosyncrasies of its many different neighborhoods. We’re flanked by the Olympic and Cascade mountains, with great hiking and backpacking opportunities within easy reach.
We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds, with diverse interests and a passion for striving for health equity for all. I invite you to explore the opportunities that the UWFM residency has to offer and how it can help your growth as a physician, in the direction you hope to go.
Wishing you all the best,
Richard Waters, MD, MSc
Chief Resident 2014-2015