Indeed, the Department of Family Medicine provides a wide scope of health care for all people. “We take care of babies and pregnant women. We also take care of geriatric patients and everybody from all walks of life,” said second-year resident and Junior Chief Dr. Cody Wingler. “I wanted to go into family medicine because it gives me the ability to take care of people of all ages, with all different kinds of medical problems. It’s great to be able to have a relationship with these patients. That’s what family medicine is all about—having a relationship with the families you take care of.”
Wingler echoed Steinweg’s thoughts about the newly unified practice enhancing communication. “It’s nice to have everybody in one place because beforehand, if you had a meeting in the Brody Medical Building, or if you had to talk with a geriatric attending physician, everyone might have been in a different place, so it was very difficult to get in touch,” he said. “Now, everybody’s offices are upstairs. We can walk down the hall and ask questions, and it definitely makes our faculty more interactive now they are all in one place.”
The spaciousness of the Family Medicine Center also allows more room for learning and increased patient comfort. The new facility boasts a large auditorium that will allow all faculty, residents, and staff to assemble in one place.
This additional space especially benefits medical students and allows them to spend more time at the practice. In fact, the new facility has seven classrooms, while the old facility had just one.
“The new facility provides a wonderful opportunity to train our medical students for the future practice of medicine. Before, we had to scramble for space and were meeting in offices that were way too small,” said Steinweg. “The new facility also makes a tremendous difference in terms of our ability to take care of our patients in a comfortable environment because it is so spacious.”
The new Family Medicine Center features the Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Geriatric Center, 60 exam rooms, seven classrooms, and a large auditorium.
Not only does the new space provide more room for medical students, but for patients, as well. The number of exam rooms in the new facility has increased from 32 to 60. Along with the increase in space, has also come a much-needed improvement in equipment and technology.
“Our new exam rooms have new equipment, which is so nice because some of our old equipment didn’t work as well,” said Wingler. “Also, here in the new building, the computers are actually hooked up to a swivel system, so I can turn and face my patients when I talk to them and can interact with them more.”
The new Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Geriatric Center is also an important part of the new Family Medicine Center. The geriatrics division at the Department of Family Medicine was founded in 1981 with the recognition that the population was growing older and those older patients had special needs. The division serves nursing homes and assisted-living facilities around the area and also runs an independent clinic. However, the old facility only had four exam rooms and desperately needed more space, said Steinweg.