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The Brody School of Medicine
Department of Family Medicine

Family Medicine
1. Is the program strictly a university-based training experience?

Although residents have access to all of the resources a university hospital offers, we work in a more intimate, community setting than in most university hospitals. Vidant Medical Center (formerly Pitt County Memorial Hospital) and the ECU Family Medicine Center serve patients from counties all across eastern North Carolina (everywhere east of I 95), which gives our residents a unique opportunity to work with many types of patients.

Residents also have an opportunity to go out into the community. We have OB rotations in neighboring towns, such as Smithfield and Goldsboro. Some residents opt to rotate through other small communities, such as the picturesque coastal town of Hatteras.

In addition to the variety of experiences and high level of resources available to our residents, our program values our ability to collaborate with other residency programs within the hospital system. The strong reputation of our residents and faculty within the hospital system and medical school is unlike most academic centers.


2. Do residents have their own continuity clinic?

Residents are assigned their own patients at the ECU Family Medicine Center. Each resident typically has 2 or 3 rooms and 1 nurse assigned to them during his or her clinic session.

Resources in the center include 60 exam rooms for patient care and procedural skills. Patient services include pharmocotherapy, nutrition counseling, physical therapy, sports medicine, OB ultrasound, exercise stress testing, and behavioral counseling.


3. What is the patient population like?

The ECU Family Medicine Center and Vidant Medical Center (formerly Pitt County Memorial Hospital) serve a diverse patient population from Greenville and its surrounding communities. The family medicine center cares for a primarily underserved, racially diverse population, as well as a mixture of hospital and university employees and their families. Our patients serve as our greatest resource by providing a wide variety of disease processes and pathology from which to learn.


4. What types of procedures to residents perform?

Residents perform a variety of procedures:

  • Skin procedures, such as biopsies and cryotherapy
  • Gynecological procedures, such as Colposcopy, LEEP, endometrial biopsy, and IUD placement
  • Sports Medicine Procedures, including injections and casting
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy and EGD
  • Nasolaryngoscopy
  • Vasectomy
5. Do residents use electronic medical records?

The Family Medicine Center, and all other specialty clinics within ECU Physicians, currently use an electronic medical record database called EPIC. This system allows instant access to patient records at work and at home via the web, and provides an indispensable means of communication between faculty, residents, physician extenders and nurses.


6. What are residents' call responsibilities?

Interns have 4 months without call. For the remainder of the intern year, call is no more than 1 in 4. Second and third year residents on the family practice inpatient service participate in a night float system, while residents on non-inpatient rotations participate in at home OB call 2-3 times per month.

7. Can residents moonlight?

Yes. Residents with a North Carolina license can moonlight. Regional opportunities for moonlighting are available for licensed residents.

8. Can residents take electives?

A number of electives are available to residents, such as:

  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Sports Medicine
  • Procedural Skills
  • Pediatrics
  • Student Health

Residents can also create their own electives within ECU and University Health Systems, or at locations of their choice.

9. What types of didactic sessions do residents have?

Residents have lunchtime conferences every Tuesday and Thursday. Our Tuesday conference, called "Clinical Jazz", is an evidence-based medicine conference in which residents and faculty present the answers to common clinical questions.

Our Thursday noon conference includes presentations on core topics primarily related to inpatient care. Thursday afternoons are set aside for didactics for all residents. Family Medicine faculty as well as other subspecialty faculty provide a mixture of traditional lectures and hands on workshops.

10. Are residents involved in medical student education?

Residents have an opportunity to interact and teach medical students in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Faculty and residents in the Department of Family Medicine play a vital role in the clinical skills training of medical students during the first and second year, as well as clerkships within the third and fourth year.

Visiting students interested in doing an advanced clerkship in family medicine at ECU should visit the Office of Student Affairs website, or call 252-744-2278.

11. How many faculty are there? What are their interests?

We have 32 physician faculty, as well as faculty in pharmacy, nutrition, behavioral medicine, and physical therapy. They have a wide variety of interests, including OB, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, procedural skills, practice management and rural medicine.

12. Can residents pursue research interests?

Residents have the opportunity to pursue research interests, and collaborate with faculty, but this is not required.


13. Do graduates go on to fellowships?

One to three residents per year go on to fellowships. Currently, our department offers fellowships in Women's Health, Geriatrics, and Sports Medicine.

14. Where do residents live? Do the majority buy homes or rent?

Most residents live within 10 miles of the hospital. Greenville's cost of living is very affordable, allowing many residents buy their own homes. Plenty of rental opportunities are also available close to the hospital.


15. What do residents do in their free time?

Greenville offers numerous restaurants, parks, shopping malls, boutiques, galleries, and cinemas. East Carolina University has summer theatre, ballet, concerts, ECU football, and other cultural and sporting events.

North Carolina's capital city, Raleigh, is just over an hour's drive away. The outdoor enthusiast will enjoy fishing and kayaking along the Outer Banks. Other popular outdoor activities include boating, bike riding, and hiking.

Our residents get together often to have dinner or catch a movie. We also have our own softball team.