Family medicine practitioners personify osteopathic medicine. Departmental members endeavor to instill respect for holistic, osteopathic medicine, particularly in primary care. The basics of the art of medicine are included in the family medicine curricula. Thus, all medical students must have extensive experiences in this area. Medical students are expected to master the continuum of the biopsychosocial aspects of medicine, and then apply these concepts in clinical settings. These basic experiences provide the background necessary for the selection of a medical specialty.
Family Medicine provides staff who act as models for group practices where osteopathic medical students gain clinical experience. As externs in CCOM affiliate facilities, medical students are responsible for taking a patient's history and conducting a physical. They learn how to provide the holistic health care for patients coming to these facilities. Students also work in community outreach programs. Medical students have the opportunity to be members of a health care team. These programs include health screening, school health programs, and health promotion and illness prevention programs for community groups and organizations.
Members of the Department of Family Medicine are actively engaged in clinical studies. Students can assist the clinicians in teaching patients through these studies. Departmental members help medical students understand the principles of osteopathic medicine. Further, they foster the development of the skills necessary to apply the osteopathic concepts in all aspects of patient care. The course of study includes osteopathic history, philosophy, and principles, the somatic components of disease, examination, treatment, and problem-solving skills.
Pediatric patients present opportunities, challenges, and rewards that are unique in medicine. As a student it is essential to be exposed to growth and development from newborn to adulthood, the medical management of the pediatric patient, preventive care and psychosocial issues of childhood. The management of pediatric patients requires special thought processes, skills, and techniques that must be mastered by all medical students. Pediatrics is a six-week rotation in the third year.