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A Letter from the Program Director


Maria A. Schiaffino, M.D.


Family Medicine education at Summa has a rich history and a vibrant future. We have been training Family Medicine residents for over 50 years! We take great pride in the fact that over the years, students and team members regularly describe the residency environment as positive, welcoming, friendly and collaborative. We are also very proud of the faculty and clinical specialized team members that make it possible to offer unparalleled training opportunities.

The ACGME released new program guidelines for Family Medicine in December 2022. Our residency program embraced the recommended changes to the curriculum and rotations that went into effect on July 1, 2023, by swiftly modifying the PGY1 Year's structure.

We start the year with a month-long orientation that prepares residents for the immersion in the hospital and exposes them to the Family Medicine Center. We also include assessments of knowledge, practical skills and the creation of their first learning plan that will be the basis for their personal educational experience.

We are able to offer one month ambulatory pediatrics instead of two months of inpatient pediatrics, and also added a month of newborn nursery. Surgery was converted to an outpatient rotation and moved to the PGY2 year. During the PGY2 year, residents will have the opportunity to experience a dedicated month of behavioral and community medicine.

Throughout their second and third years, all residents will have a total of six months of electives that they will be able to utilize for their future practice interests or to concentrate on a specific "track."

The family medicine center, as a certified Patient-Centered Medical Home, is further adapting to the changing healthcare environment and the needs of our resident learners with exciting, positive changes in curricular offerings and clinical operations. Our residents are trained in a multidisciplinary approach to the care of the most frail and vulnerable complex patients in our community. The support provided by the Summa Health System has allowed us to offer integrated behavioral health services, clinical pharmacists, addiction treatment, social work support, home visits, complex care coordination and increased access for our patients via telemedicine. Our monthly practice excellence meeting focuses on developing our clinical team and improving our processes.

Our population health initiatives will help assure that all the patients in our practice receive a higher level of chronic disease care and preventive care. Already, we have unique programs in place that address food insecurity with a fresh food pantry, and collaboration with legal aid that addresses patients' legal barriers that affect their ability to receive medical care.

Each Wednesday afternoon, all residents participate in educational sessions that include hands-on practical sessions, OMM sessions, interactive core topic discussions, and invited didactic presentations. Twice a year we offer skill building workshops that add to the training of dermatology, POCUS (point of care ultrasound), musculoskeletal and casting techniques.

At the Family Medicine Center, we believe that ‘the clinic is the curriculum’. This means that we strive to improve clinic operations to optimize resident education. Our Clinic First model emphasizes team-based continuity care. As part of Clinic First, we will offer 1000 hours of continuity clinic. This will require scheduling PGY2 and PGY3 residents to see patients 2-3 full days per week.

The clinic day begins with a team huddle, followed by one on one pre-precepting with faculty to plan for effective care, as well as address any identified challenges. The resident/faculty ratio is 2-3:1 to allow for progressive supervision of patient visits and procedures. Our clinical pharmacists, behaviorists and social worker are on hand to help with "on the spot" patient needs.

This recruitment season we will continue with virtual interviews combined with in-person opportunities. I am quite excited about all that our program offers and how our diverse and multidisciplinary group of educators enrich the training that you will receive.  We hope that you will choose to meet us and be able to see and feel the culture of Summa and our program.


Maria A. Schiaffino,  MD, FAAFP

Program Director


Program Highlights


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