This paper describes the first operational four-year combined family medicine/internal medicine residency designed to qualify residents for board examination in both disciplines, which began at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1995. The authors describe key program features, including their block rotation schedule, interdisciplinary ambulatory precepting, and plans for achieving 50% ambulatory training experience, as well as their difficulties in implementing a collaborative core didactic experience. The authors present faculty survey data indicating that internal medicine faculty members are more likely to view the combined residency as a resource, while family medicine faculty members would like to concentrate on the categorical residency. A recent survey of combined residents indicates that they are satisfied with their choice of combined training and optimistic about the opportunity of garnering additional skills relative to their internal medicine and family medicine counterparts. The authors suggest that successfully implementing this interdisciplinary effort requires an atmosphere of mutual respect and an effort to find opportunities to positively affect the training experiences of both combined residents and their resident partners in family medicine and internal medicine.
(C) 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges