Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Minnesota Takes on AAFPNC 2018!

We had a blast at the 2018 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Thirty-five exhibiting representatives from our department, including faculty, residents, and staff, attended the conference and met with medical students from around the country.

Over the course of the three-day conference, 375 medical students visited our booth to learn about the eight residency programs at the University of Minnesota. Many were surprised to learn that each program has a distinct “feel” - for example, Duluth offers high-risk OB and c-section training upstate near the shores of Lake Superior, while St. Joseph's residents enjoy full-spectrum training and extensive ICU experience in a busy and ethnically diverse St. Paul neighborhood.

(Want to learn more? Our website also offers a wealth of information about each program, from curricular paths to information about living in the local area.)

Conference Highlights

Dr. Crichlow at the AAFPNC Family Medicine Storytelling Event
When they weren’t meeting with potential residents, University of Minnesota Family Medicine residents and faculty were focused on presenting scholarly and community-based work at the conference. Reneé Crichlow, MD, faculty in our North Memorial program and newly minted Director of Advocacy and Policy, took the stage at the Family Medicine Storytelling Event and described her experiences as a family physician. Her stories ranged from the humorous (delivering a baby on a bed that had been adjusted for a tall intern) to the sobering (watching a patient die as his wife assured him he was loved).

“We help guide our patients through the challenges and choices of life,” she told the audience. “It's family medicine. It's who we are, it's what we do, and you should come join us."

Dr. Crichlow also presented with Andrea Westby, MD (faculty, North Memorial) at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Emerging Leaders Workshop. In another room, Duluth faculty Jamie Conniff, MD, and PGY3 resident Becky Davies, MD, presented on health care for the homeless.

Several UMN representatives unveiled research in the AAFP National Conference poster presentations:

  • Katie Hinderaker, MD (PGY3, St. Joseph) - Listening Matters! The Effect of PCP Listening Frequency on ED Visits 
  • Hanna Nerud (UMN med student) & Brooke Cunningham, MD, PhD (Family Medicine faculty) - State Characteristics Associated With Passage of Health Equity Legislation 
  • Sharon Toor, MD (PGY3, UMMC) - Increasing Immunization Rates in Adolescent Somali Refugees 
  • St. Cloud residents Sujitha Yadlapati, MBBS (PGY3, left) and
    Leesa Larson, MD (PGY3, right) pose with faculty Kevin
    Switzer, MD (middle).
  • Christina Warner (UMN med student) & Michael Ross, MD, PhD (Family Medicine faculty) - Sexual Health Knowledge Lacking Amongst U.S. Medical Students 

Two residents made efforts to influence AAFP policy and programming by putting forth resolutions to the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents (NCFMR). Ebiere Okah, MD (PGY2, North Memorial) co-presented a resolution for the AAFP to denounce race-based medicine. Alex Gits, MD (PGY3, North Memorial), who attended the conference as a Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) Resident Delegate, presented a resolution that the AAFP urge the accreditation council for Graduate Medical Education to establish a milestone that specifically requires advocacy education in medical training. This resolution was adopted by the congress.

Dr. Gits also received the AAFP Excellence in Graduate Medical Education award and was named the Resident Director on the STFM Board.

Social Media Coverage

The department landed on the list of top 10 influencers of the AAFP conference and was featured daily in the AAFP’s social media digest, thanks to an enthusiastic campaign by staff, residents, and faculty.

A friendly departmental Twitter contest encouraged UMN exhibitors to tweet everything from bios of their favorite faculty to images of the conference booth and giveaways, to videos of residents and faculty letting loose with karaoke. Emma Erickson, MD (PGY2, Methodist) and Kelsey Finn, DO (PGY2, UMMC) took home the prizes for most tweets, and the Methodist residency program won the coveted “Loon Trophy” in recognition for being the most active department on social media.

We couldn’t be more #UMNProud of this dedicated and fun bunch!

Until Next Year

The booth has only been down for a week, and already we are looking forward to next year’s conference July 25-27, 2019 in Kansas City. Mark your calendars and meet us there!

PS - If you came to our booth during the conference, please say hi via email, Facebook, or Twitter! We loved meeting so many of the faces that will transform the future landscape of family medicine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 Resident and Fellow Commencement

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, we celebrated a group of 64 extraordinary residents and fellows at the University of Minnesota Family Medicine and Community Health’s annual commencement. Held at McNamara Alumni Center on a warm summer evening, the ceremony was a wonderful opportunity to honor the graduating class as they embark on the careers ahead of them.
James Pacala stands at a podium and addresses a room full of people sitting at tables
Department Head James Pacala, MD, MS, addresses graduates

This year’s graduating class included:
  • 52 family medicine residents from our eight programs 
  • 3 pharmacy residents
  • 1 primary care behavioral health fellow 
  • 3 hospice and palliative medicine fellows 
  • 3 human sexuality fellows 
  • 2 sports medicine fellows 
  • 16 faculty and fellows who completed Teaching, Evaluation, and Curriculum for Healthcare Professionals, also known as TEACH 
  • 7 faculty who completed the Collaboration and Scholarship Intensive for Family Medicine (CSI-FM) program 
For a taste of what the evening was like, read our live tweets from the ceremony using the hashtag #umnfamilymedgrad on Twitter and view photos on Facebook.

Resident and Faculty Awards

After opening remarks by Department Head James Pacala, MD, MS, in which he encouraged graduates to consider their “role as an ambassador for an almost 50-year legacy of excellence,” several graduates and faculty were honored for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Excellence in Research Award

Dr. Bader smiles and holds his award plaque
The Excellence in Research Award was presented to Mankato’s graduating resident Andrew R. Bader, DO, for his impressive commitment to clinical scholarship. Dr. Bader was unanimously nominated by his program’s faculty, who described him as the “embodiment of the scientist-practitioner model.” What’s more, Dr. Bader amassed an impressive six peer-reviewed publications during his three-year residency - the highest publication rate of all residents across the department’s 8 programs.

[Dr. Bader] clearly recognizes that the practice of medicine becomes stagnant if not for ongoing clinical inquiry and scholarly investigation.
- award nominator

Leonard P. Burke, MD, Memorial Award

Dr. Nguyen-Tran smiles and holds her award plaque Graduating St. Joseph’s resident Thuy Duong Nguyen-Tran, MD, was presented this year’s Leonard P. Burke, MD, Memorial Award in honor of her unique service contributions to family medicine. Dr. Nguyen-Tran has been involved in several important projects at Bethesda Clinic that focus on increased community engagement and access to care for patients, especially Karen patients. In addition to serving as co-chief resident, she demonstrated excellent leadership and initiative in helping the clinic provide culturally competent care and develop multiple community partnerships.

[Dr. Nguyen-Tran] is hard working, enthusiastic, and welcoming, and she highlights the positive in every situation.
- award nominator

Faculty Awards

This year’s Affiliate Faculty Teacher of the Year went to Sandra Coffin, MD, (pictured below left) from St. Joseph’s. Nominees described Dr. Coffin’s passion and commitment to teaching, saying, “Often times, Friday afternoons can be one of the more challenging clinic days, but St. Joseph’s family medicine residents look forward to Fridays because they know Dr. Sandra Coffin will be precepting.”

Mankato faculty Erin Westfall, DO, (pictured below right) accepted the Faculty Teacher of the Year Award. As one nominee said, “Dr. Westfall has also taught me about the social responsibilities a great physician demonstrates…Dr. Westfall’s efforts show that it isn’t just about health in our clinic building – it’s about the health of our entire community that truly matters.”

Dr. Coffin smiles and holds her award plaque Dr. Westfall smiles and holds her award plaque

STFM Resident Teacher Awards

Ten residents received the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Resident Teacher Award for demonstrated interest, ability, and commitment to family medicine. Awardees include Duluth residency graduate Charles S. Hackett, MD; Mankato residency graduates William Bensen, DO and Andrew R. Bader, DO; Methodist residency graduate Joshua Edward Scheck, MD; North Memorial residency graduate Melissa Pavek, MD; St. Cloud residency graduate Elina Lipovskiy, DO; St. John’s residency graduate Jennifer Svendsen, MD; St. Joseph’s residency graduates Daniel Smith, DO and Thuy D. Nguyen-Tran, MD; and University of Minnesota Medical Center residency graduate Alexandra Tsvilina, MD, PhD.
A group of ten smiling award winners hold their plaques

Congratulations to all graduates and award recipients!

Save the date for next year’s commencement: June 4, 2019

Monday, March 19, 2018

University of Minnesota Family Medicine Match Results 2018

Two fourth-year medical students waiting to open their
envelopes at the 2018 Match Ceremony
On Friday, March 16, graduating University of Minnesota medical students gathered with family and friends at McNamara Alumni Center to find out where they will begin their residency.

Match Day is an important date shared by medical students across the country. Students receive an official letter from the National Residency Match Program (NRMP), letting them know which residency, and in what city, they will start their medical training.

We are proud to say that this year was a success for all U of M family medicine residency programs.


U of M Medical School
Dean Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD,
speaking to medical students 

at the Match Ceremony
  • All eight U of M Family Medicine residency programs filled on the first day of Match Week.
  • Interest in family medicine continued its upward trend for the nineth consecutive year.
  • The total number of medical students choosing family medicine was 3,535, up 298 from the 3,237 last year.
  • There was a 96.7 percent fill rate for family medicine residency programs--the highest ever recorded for the speciality and nearly a percentage point higher than in 2017. (source: AAFP)

Below is a complete list of names of our new family medicine residents.


  • Maren Anderson, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School 
  • Whitney Bertram, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Katie Bressler, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Kristina Lindholm, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Kelly McKinnon, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Hannah Salk, MD - University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
  • Sidney Sisson, MD - West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Jake Traxler, MD - Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Luke Wohlwend, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School 

  • Grant Bludorn, DO - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus
  • Nicholas Myslicki, MD - St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • Cory Simning, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Jacan Simon, DO - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus

  • Kate Chamberlain, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Nicole Noyes, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Christine Prill, MD - Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Jessica Sawinski, DO - A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
  • Maggie Schwartz, MD - Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
  • Nathaniel Schwartz, MD - University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Melissa Belec, DO, MPH - Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine - California
  • Toni Dick, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Evan Eide, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Molly Gruber, DO - Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Rose Marie Leslie, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Michaela McCuddy, MD - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • James Smith, MD - University of Illinois College of Medicine - Peoria
  • Paul Stadem, MD - Mayo Medical School 

  • John Anderson, DO - Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Blake Chapman, DO - Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Eric Christensen, MD - University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Tyler Lewandowski, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Michael Symanietz, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Paola Teran Rodriguez, MD - Ross University School of Medicine

ST. JOHN'S (6)
  • Nicholas Ely, MD -  Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Ramla Kasozi, MBchB - Makerere University School of Medicine
  • Joe Renier, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Frances Tepolt, MD - University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Risa Visina, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Kaeley Whiting, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School

  • Stephanie Aldrin, MD- University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Brandon Edlund, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Emily Lawrence, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Chee Lor, MD - University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Brandon Porten, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Sarah Roe, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Joel Soma, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Thomas Walsh, MD - University of Minnesota Medical School

  • Stefania Baccino, MD - Universidad de la República Facultad de Medicina
  • Kathryn Barta, MD - Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Morgan Buda, MD - East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine
  • Charlie Goebel, MD - Creighton University School of Medicine
  • Vivian Liu, MD - St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • Kristin Schwacha, DO - Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Congratulations to all. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for our incoming family medicine residents!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

2017 UMN Family Medicine Residency Grads: By the Numbers

In 2017, 57 medical residents graduated from University of Minnesota family medicine residency programs. An update on where those graduates are practicing or pursuing additional training follows.

Practice/Training Locations

Our graduates are currently practicing or pursuing additional training in the following locations.

  • 45 (79%) - Stayed in Minnesota
  • 5 - Went West (Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Washington)
  • 4 - Went to other Midwestern states (Indiana, South Dakota, Wisconsin)
  • 1 - Went East (New Jersey) 
  • 1 - Went South (Florida)
  • 1 - Went to Canada

Of our 57 graduates, one went to a sports medicine fellowship and three went into academic/faculty positions.

All other graduates pursued roles that were in community health service, hospital-based or private practice with health systems, medical centers, and clinics.

Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 Family Medicine Midwest Conference

The following blog post was written by U of M Department of Family Medicine faculty Andrew Slattengren, DO, chair of the Family Medicine Midwest Foundation and presenter at this year's conference.

On October 6-8, over 350 physicians, residents, and medical students gathered at Hilton O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois for the 2017 Family Medicine Midwest Conference.

The event combined scholarly work and research presentations, community-based practice and best practice sharing, and promoted cooperative and collaborative health care innovation. There was a residency and employment fair, along with workshops, poster presentations, and pre-conference sessions.

The University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and other individuals contributed to provide scholarships for medical students. Because of these efforts, 18 University of Minnesota medical students were able to attend the conference.

University of Minnesota medical student
Danielle Francen presents her poster titled
"Implementation of Advance Care Planning
in a Rural Healthcare System"
“My name is Danielle Francen and I am a current fourth-year medical student at the University of Minnesota who received a scholarship from your group to attend the Family Medicine Midwest Conference. Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend the conference--it was both an educational and inspiring experience. I had the opportunity to attend many educational sessions while I was there. Given my interest in women’s health, I specifically enjoyed lectures on abortion care, water births, contraception, and perineal suturing techniques. I also attended a lecture on behavioral interviewing which I am sure will be helpful as I begin the interview process for residency.

Additionally, I was fortunate to have been selected to present a poster on my Advance Care Planning project that I worked on for nine months as a student in the Rural Physician’s Associate Program. It was really amazing to share my work with students from across the midwest and hear them voice their interest in doing something similar in their own area.

As students, we are so grateful for your scholarship donation to help make trips like these possible, especially given the financial barriers that we face as fourth-year medical students. It was so helpful to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and to also learn from their experiences. Thank you again for the opportunity to attend the conference, I hope many more students can also attend in the future.” 

​Danielle Francen
University of Minnesota Medical School MD candidate, class of 2018

In addition to medical students, 11 other University of Minnesota resident physicians, family physicians, and other medical professionals attended. University of Minnesota physicians, residents, and students presented a total of nine educational sessions during the conference, including an emotional and motivating plenary talk “The #FMRevolution of Today” by North Memorial faculty Renée Crichlow, MD. This conference is an excellent venue to demonstrate the amazing works of family physicians in Minnesota.

The 2018 conference will take place in Madison, Wisconsin on November 9-11. The 2019 conference will take place in Chicago again and the 2020 conference will take place at the University of Minnesota. Future dates are to be determined.   

The Family Medicine Midwest (FMM) Foundation launched in 2012 with a core mission of identifying and supporting students interested in Family Medicine. It is committed to communicating the value of family medicine to practicing colleagues, future colleagues, and the public. Andrew Slattengren DO, faculty at North Memorial Family Medicine Residency is the chair of the FMM Foundation.

View photos from this year's conference

Family Medicine Midwest 2017 Presentations – University of Minnesota

  • Discussing Fertility Awareness Based Methods of Family Planning: The Patient Experience
    • Stephanie Pickthorn, MS3, University of Minnesota
    • Mary Kim, MS1 Georgetown University School of Medicine
    • Marguerite Duane, MD, MHA, FAAFP Adjunct Associate Professor, Georgetown University
  • Evaluation of physician satisfaction of a standardized inter-professional care model for chronic pain in family medicine residency clinics
    • Andrew H Slattengren, DO, North Memorial faculty
    • Eva Pesch, MD, recent North Memorial graduate
    • Nelli Thomas, MD, recent North Memorial graduate
    • Megan Keuler, MD, MPH, third-year North Memorial resident

Family Medicine Midwest 2017 Poster Presentations – University of Minnesota

  • Discussing Childhood Overweight and Obesity with Parents: a Provider's Perspective
    • Melissa Pavek, MD, third-year North Memorial resident
    • Huiying Guo, MD, third-year North Memorial resident
  • Implementation of Advance Care Planning in a Rural Healthcare System
    • Danielle Francen, MS4, University of Minnesota
  • Qualitative Needs Assessment on Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening in North Minneapolis
    • Caitlin Fujisawa, MPH, MS4, University of Minnesota
  • Review of Clinic Documentation of Advance Care Directives/POLST forms
    • Lucas Labine, MS4, University of Minnesota
  • Lakewood Health System Community Healthcare Needs Assessment Regarding Obesity
    • Kyle Lau, MS2, University of Minnesota - Duluth
  • Power to Quit II: A Randomized Clinical Trial To Enhance Smoking and Alcohol Cessation Among Homeless Adults
    • Thulasee Jose, MD, MPH 2019 Candidate - University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Family Medicine Midwest 2017 Plenary Presentations – University of Minnesota

  • The #FMRevolution of Today
    • Renée Crichlow, MD, FAAFP - University of Minnesota Dept. of Family Medicine and Associate Director, North Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program