Medical Education FAQ

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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 within 1-3 business days.

What are the strengths of the program?

There are many opportunities and strengths associated with our program. One of the primary strengths is our phenomenal administrative staff that helps with all graduate medical education programs. They are always there for a listening ear or to help when your schedule does not go as planned. We also have an excellent continuity of care in our residency clinic with complex patients that provide a great opportunity to learn about a wide range of medical conditions. Starting from day one you will be fully responsible for your panel of patients, typically patients from the previous year’s graduates. These are your patients to care for and manage. Within our clinic we have four core faculty members that precept and during the course of your tenure at our program you will build strong relationships with these preceptors. Additionally, when rotating through various specialties, you will build relationships with specialists within the community. One of the highlights of our program is our newly designed resident didactics. We have looked at various models for running didactics and we have focused on innovative ideas and styles that are helpful for adult learners. We also have traditional-style lectures with specialists as well. We have didactics every Wednesday morning. We also offer a flexible curriculum to allow for individual passions to flourish. We have recently added an integrative medicine track to our family medicine program through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.

What are the areas for growth within the program? 

We have been working diligently to enhance training opportunities with women’s health.  Our residency faculty have been collaborating closely with our obstetrics providers to enrich the curriculum in this area.  We recently added a new rotation in the third year to increase training in outpatient obstetrics at a local federally-qualified health center in Lorain (about 30 minutes from Sandusky), which has quickly become a favorite for some of our residents! Additionally, we have continued to expand our research opportunities throughout all programs. We do require all family medicine residents to complete a quality improvement project during their time. This project is meant to help our residency clinic function at the highest level. This experience also provides residents with the experience of designing and completing a quality improvement project in the outpatient setting.

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 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 out-patient 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, home call is required on the inpatient obstetrics and gynecology service and general surgery service. OB call is every third night. On 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 5 nights from 7pm-7am the next morning. This starts on Sunday night and goes through Friday morning. During the second year and third year, family medicine residents are assigned home “phone call” 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. During this rotation, residents are afforded the opportunity to provide outreach at the local homeless shelter and facilitate discussions with local seniors. Additionally, through FHS there are always opportunities for involvement within the community that change 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 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 10 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 py phone at 419-557-7250, by email at, 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 schedule and is a great opportunity to work independently. 

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