Medical Education FAQ

Have Questions?

Still, have more questions? We’ll try to answer them here or fill out our form at the bottom of the page, and someone from our team will get back to you within 1-3 business days.

What are the strengths of the program?

There are many strengths and opportunities associated with our program. We have a phenomenal administrative staff that assists with all graduate medical education programs. They are always there to lend you a listening ear or to help when your schedule does not go as planned. Additionally, our residency clinic presents great learning opportunities via its excellent continuity of care and complex patients with a wide range of medical conditions. Starting from day one, you will be fully responsible for your panel of patients, typically patients who had been under the care of previous year's graduates. They are your patients to care for and manage. We have core faculty members that precept within our clinic, and during your tenure in our program, you will build strong relationships with them, your peers, and your patients.

Further, when rotating through various specialties, you will build relationships with staff, nurses, and specialists within the community. One of our key strengths is the culture of individual growth we've created. Each intern is paired with a senior resident who helps navigate all aspects of the first year of residency. Another highlight of our program is our innovative and hands-on approach to didactics, which provides a consistent and stimulating learning experience by employing weekly sessions centered around critical thinking, team building, and practical skills. Our co-chiefs (also a first this year), recognizing an opportunity to evolve the curriculum, are seeking to engage team members and facilitate learning in a new style by breaking up the traditional lecture-after-lecture convention.

What are the areas for growth within the program? 

Our faculty is collaborating closely with our obstetrics providers to enrich our training opportunities for women's health. We recently added a new rotation in the third year to increase exposure to outpatient obstetrics at a local federally-qualified health center in Lorain, which is about 30 minutes from Sandusky. It has quickly become a favorite! Additionally, residents design and complete quality improvement projects that push our clinic to continue to raise the bar for exceptional patient care in the outpatient setting.

Beginning 2022-2023, we introduced a brand new point-of-care ultrasound series where residents attend monthly workshops to advance their ultrasound skills. We also instituted the ABFM National Journal club into our monthly curriculum, highlighting the latest peer-reviewed articles discussed by family medicine residents and physicians across the country.

What is the longitudinal outpatient clinical experience like? What is a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC)?

We provide our outpatient clinical experience at Family Health Services, which is a Federally-Qualified Health Center in Sandusky. An FQHC is a community-based health care provider that receives funds from the HRSA Health Center Program to provide primary care services in an underserved area. They must follow a strict set of requirements, including providing care on a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay and operating under a governing board that includes patients. As a family medicine resident, you will spend one month each academic year in the clinic full-time. This also serves to provide a continuity of care experience throughout your three years of family medicine residency. During the first year for both family medicine residents and transitional year residents, you will spend one half-day per week in the clinic. For the second and third-year family medicine residents, you will spend three half-days per week in the clinic. Starting your first year, you will be scheduled 30 minutes per patient with the expectation that by your third year of residency, you will be seeing patients every 15 minutes, except for new patients and procedures. At the beginning of the residency program, you are assigned a small panel of patients which will grow as you spend more time in the clinic. You will be responsible for responding to refill requests, patient questions/concerns, and reviewing labs and imaging, among other things. We strive to keep patients with their primary care provider as often as we can to provide continuity to the patient. We are able to perform a wide variety of procedures in the outpatient office.

What procedures are taught and mastered during the 3-year curriculum for family medicine residents? What if I am interested in procedures outside of this scope? 

During the three-year curriculum, family medicine residents are exposed to a wide variety of procedures within the clinical setting, as well as through various workshops. Transitional year residents are included in all workshops and opportunities for procedures in the clinic as well. We offer training for multiple procedures including, but not limited to:
● Musculoskeletal: Joint injections with and without ultrasound guidance, trigger point injections, trigger finger injections
● GYN: Intrauterine device insertion and removal, Nexplanon insertion and removal, Pap smears, colposcopy, endometrial biopsy
● Dermatologic: Cryosurgery of the skin, dermoscopy, skin biopsies (shave, punch, and excisional), abscess I&D, cyst I&D/removal
● Point-of-care ultrasound
● Osteopathic manipulation
● Spirometry
● Toenail removal
If you are interested in procedures not listed, please feel free to reach out to us! Additionally, if there is a procedure that we do not offer specific training in, we are happy to work with residents on building and mastering skills in other areas as well!

What is the call schedule like? 

The call schedule varies by rotation. During the first year, the home call is required for the inpatient obstetrics and gynecology service and general surgery service. OB call is every third night. In general surgery, the resident is on call when the surgeon is on call. This is typically one week of the rotation. There is one month of in-house night float during the first year. This is five nights from 7pm-7am the next morning. This starts on Sunday night and goes through Friday morning. During the second year and third years, family medicine residents are assigned home “phone calls” for the residency clinic. This is done one week at a time, from Monday evening through the following Monday morning. There is no requirement to come into the clinic or hospital during this “phone call” time. 

What opportunities are available for community involvement? 

There is a wide variety of opportunities available to be involved within the community. As part of our residency training, we do incorporate several activities. Starting in the second year for family medicine residents, we complete a longitudinal nursing home rotation. Residents are assigned a panel of patients from the Ohio Veterans Home and are scheduled to see them once per month during the second and third years. This provides a great opportunity to learn to manage patients in the nursing home setting with supervision from the faculty at OVH. Residents also complete a community medicine rotation during the second year of training, during which they are exposed to the various community resources available in Sandusky. Additionally, through FHS, there are always opportunities for involvement within the community that changes throughout the year.  

Do you allow away rotations? 

Yes! Please contact us for more information. 

What is it like living in Sandusky? 

Sandusky is a small city with a population of around 40,000. It is the largest city in Erie County and home to “America’s Rollercoast,” Cedar Point. Because of Cedar Point, the number of people in the area doubles during the summer usually, and Sandusky has been named the best coastal town in America by USA Today. Between the lakefront, Lake Erie Islands, Cedar Point, and large indoor waterpark hotels, there is so much to do here. The downtown area is situated right on the water and has seen a huge revival with new investment in the last ten years. You just have to see it!
Just outside the city are multiple small municipalities. Some of these are small lakefront towns with a suburban feel, others are smaller communities with a rural population. You can easily find any setting you prefer when you choose to live here.

How would you describe the patient population you serve?

In a word, diverse! As described above, there are many different types of communities in the region. Because of this, Firelands Regional Medical Center serves patients from every background. In our continuity clinic, consistent with the goals of every FQHC, the patients are largely underserved, with a large majority of patients being Medicaid beneficiaries. Our patients understand the residency program model and are happy we are here. We frequently see patients with complex medical histories and multiple comorbidities. Seeing this challenging population now is great for our training and makes us better clinicians daily!
In the inpatient setting, the population is similar to that of our continuity clinic with the addition of patients from the more suburban and rural communities since FRMC is the only hospital in Erie County. Firelands is also a referral center for multiple small hospitals in the region, further diversifying the patients that we see.

I'm a medical student; how do I arrange a rotation?

We do offer audition rotations to interested students. Please contact the medical education office for more details by phone at 419-557-7250 or by email at streng@ohio.edu, or you can fill out the form below, and some will reach out to you within 1-3 business days.

Are there opportunities for moonlighting? 

Our residents are able to moonlight in the second/third year after obtaining a full license in the state of Ohio.  There are several opportunities in the area.  The most common opportunity our residents take advantage of is right in our own continuity clinic.  We have the opportunity to work evenings or Saturday mornings.  This allows us to give our patients more access to appointments that fit their schedules and is a great opportunity to work independently. 

What are residency interviews like?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, all interviews were conducted in person. However, when COVID caused national travel restrictions, we pivoted to virtual interviews, and the feedback from our applicants, residents, and staff has been very positive. Accordingly, we have elected to continue with virtual-only interviews. We also schedule a number of live, in-person site visits throughout the interview season so that interested applicants may come for a tour and to meet our residents and faculty.  However, participation in these events is not a requirement to be considered for ranking.

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