Doing a at Baylor Family Medicine will put you into the middle of one of the largest clinic systems in the US. You’ll only have three short years to rotate through the ’s five different training sites throughout Houston, including the Texas Children’s Hosptial and the Ben Taub Hospital. However, your electives can include everything from Global Health and tropical medicine rotations to working at the largest Veterans Administration hospital in the US. But despite these diverse initiatives, the central mission of Baylor Family Medicine is to serve the underserved, which is evidenced by a new rural track the program opened recently. This article will take you through the ins-and-outs of a Baylor family medicine residency, any curriculum highlights, and what you need to do to get matched!
Listen to the blog!
Community Health Center Track, Houston
Match Rate: 100%
Resident Positions: 8
Length of Program: 3 years
Salary Range: $65,700 - $73,000
St. Lukes Hosptial/Rural Track, Lufkin
Match Rate: n/a
Resident Positions: 3
Length of Program: 3 years
Salary Range: $65,700 - $73,000
Preparing for residency interview? Check out this video:
The Baylor Family Medicine residency program at BCM is officially known as the Baylor Family and Community medicine program, which should key you in on the program’s main mission: serving the underserved in Houston and, now, with the opening of a new rural track, the underserved residents of Lufkin, Texas. The lengths to which the Baylor family medicine programs goes to accommodate its diverse population are astounding.
At one of its rotation sites, the Northwest Community Health Center, which serves the large urban population of Harris County, the clinic hosts several non-medical resources that patients can use to address their quality-of-life, such as an on-staff social worker and free translation services. There are several important medical resources as well, including an in-house pharmacy, as well as labs and a radiology suite so patients do not have to travel to other locations to get these important clinical services.
But since family medicine is such a multidisciplinary you’ll be rotating through various sub-specialties to ensure you are well-versed in everything from emergency medicine and psychiatry to sports medicine and women’s health, all of which are required rotations in the first year. In both your years, you’ll also be trained on all the different life stages of a patient from pre-natal and post-natal care to geriatric medicine, further broadening your training and skill-set.
The Northwest Community Health Center is only one of the training sites you can rotate through, but, as we mentioned, Houston being one of the largest cities in the US, you’ll also have the opportunity to work in various other clinical settings. You’ll need to move around a lot at the Baylor family medicine program, since your three-year residency includes over 20 different medical specialties and sub-specialties. But this goes to the heart of what family medicine means. As a family medicine doctor, you’re expected to have a wide knowledge of many medical specialties rather than focusing on one single specialty or sub-specialty, as you would with a or .
The Baylor family medicine program runs for three years, but it is not meant to be a preliminary or But you can follow up these three years with a if you want, such as the Primary Care Fellowship also offered at Baylor. However, probably the best testament to the quality and community involved in a Baylor family medicine residency is that many alumni are now faculty in the Department of Family and Community medicine at BCM. The residency program director is also an alumnus, which only solidifies the program’s reputation for community-building and the intense, personal attachment that you’ll develop as an intern, resident and .
The Baylor family medicine program has eight resident positions every year at its Houston site. The new rural track program at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital has three openings for graduates interested in rural medicine, so both tracks at Baylor family medicine cross the divide. Even if you are accepted into the main Houston program, you can still choose to do rotations at the Lufkin site, and vice-versa, so there is no real separation between the two programs.
There is no separate application process, as you only have to indicate your interest in the rural track on your . If you are matched into the Baylor family medicine program, you’ll do your first year at Houston and then spend your last two years in Lufkin, where you’ll train at St. Luke’s with physicians experienced in delivering primary care within a rural setting. To get to the interview stage at Baylor family medicine, you have to submit the following:
- Medical degree from school recognized by the Texas Board of Health
- Passed either or (maximum two attempts)
- Passed USMLE or COMLEX with a score in the 25th percentile (preferred)
- Past experience or evidence of dedication to family medicine/primary care
As with many programs, Baylor family medicine prefers you have a USMLE or COMLEX score within a certain percentile, but now that the USMLE will only issue a pass/fail grade, we are not sure yet how that will affect the admission requirements for the family medicine residency program. And while it would be preferable to have previous experience within family medicine (medical school electives in primary care; post-graduate research fellowship; or even knowing a foreign language such as medical Spanish), you can also apply without it.
You will also have to interview, which may help make your decision about whether the program is right for you. Current and former residents echo the same sentiment about how their interview day was something that helped convince them of Baylor family medicine’s fit for them. They talk about instinctually “knowing” that the hospital setting, curriculum, and, most importantly, faculty and support staff were for them. About the latter, residents say that the time faculty and staff took to answer their questions helped make their decision to place Baylor family medicine high on their rank order list for the Match.
The residents at the Baylor family medicine program come from various backgrounds and some were even convinced that they would only do a family medicine residency as a stepping stone to another, more clinical and technical-specialty, such as a or . But, as we mentioned, several residents found their calling in family medicine, for a variety of reasons, from the teaching and learning environment to the program’s faculty and the administrators at BCM. There are no residency requirements, meaning you do not have to be a resident of Texas to be considered, as many of the residents in the Baylor family medicine program are either from other parts of the country or who want to do their training at Baylor, with its substantial academic and educational resources.
- Primary care for the indigent
- Treating immigrant and refugee populations
- Courses that deal with the behavioral health implications of grief and loss
These electives and others like it are essential to family medicine, since it is a discipline that requires knowing how to build longitudinal relationships with patients from various demographics. You can start in the direction of family medicine even before medical school.
You can start gaining a lot of either by shadowing a family physician or working in a healthcare-related setting that deals in direct-patient care rather than research or capstone projects, such as an assisted living center or community health outreach programs for the unhoused and underprivileged.
The residency interview format for Baylor family medicine is a panel interview, where you will be asked questions by several people, from the residency director to current residents and other faculty. All interviews will take place virtually, and you will have to sit through a virtual presentation given by the Family and Community Medicine department, along with taking a virtual tour.
As you research , we would strongly advise you to participate in residency mock interviews and go over the program’s goals and overall mission when you come up with sample answers during your practice. You can also review common , and reach out to who can offer professional and personalized guidance to help impress your interviewers.
You can talk about what draws you to family medicine, whether it was during your clinical rotations during medical school, or whether the attraction started much earlier. You can also talk about the skills you have learned that would make you a great family doctor such as communication skills and a strong sense of empathy. But also remember to practice and rehearse your answers (not to the point of memorization and recitation, but only remember a few key points) so you don’t spend too much time thinking about an answer, although taking a few moments to organize your thoughts is also a good idea.
As we mentioned above, your three-year residency at Baylor family medicine will take you through 22 different rotations in various specialties and sub-specialties, but you might feel like you’re only skimming the surface of what’s possible in family medicine. Perhaps this is why so many successful resident graduates decide to stay on at BCM, as they want to explore all that family medicine has to offer even after residency.
If you are admitted into Baylor family medicine, you will first have to complete a series of online training modules that deal mostly with administrative processes, and program policies. This orientation is also where you’ll take, and hopefully receive, certification in various medical procedures that you’ll be expected to perform during your residency, which include, advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and basic life support (BLS).
After this initial orientation, your rotations will start in earnest, with the first being inpatient and outpatient rotations in family medicine. Given the size and extent of the Baylor clinic system, you’ll often do rotations in the same specialty, but in different settings. For example, your pediatric medicine rotation will follow this format, as you will rotate in the pediatric emergency department at the Texas Children’s Hosptial followed by a few weeks at outpatient clinics.
You will even assist in various surgeries in the operation room at Ben Taub Hospital as part of your general surgery rotations, but also attend to patients post-surgery, again, in an outpatient clinic or setting. This schedule is all in-line with the way most family medicine residencies are structured, since you will have a variety of different clinical settings to choose from after you complete your residency and if you want to stay in family medicine.
One thing that is encouraged at Baylor family medicine is for you to find knowledge gaps in the program that you feel should be filled with another type of rotation or with more focus on a particular subject. This speaks to the program’s overall desire to constantly evolve and improve their educational program to the benefit of both residents and patients. Coincidentally, even though many current, and past residents speak highly of the sense of community that pervades the program, it is up to you to ingratiate yourself into this community.
You are more than encouraged to lean on your fellow residents, faculty and program administrators whenever you need help. You shouldn’t think that you have to do everything alone, or that asking for help is a sign of weakness, because it is not, especially at this program. After your first year, you’ll have more time to choose electives, which can range from:
- Adolescent Medicine
- Pain Management
- Tropical Medicine
In your final year, you’ll also be given a few weeks to pursue a research project, while still maintaining a busy rotation schedule, which will include a majority of family medicine rotations in inpatient and outpatient settings, while you’ll also be trained on non-medical subjects, such as healthcare administration, how to manage a private practice and sports rehabilitation.
We talked a lot already about the format of your core rotations, in that you will often repeat a rotation, but only in a different setting (inpatient or outpatient). So, there is no great disparity between either setting, and your time will be evenly divided between the two. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of room for electives, as your schedule will be packed more with core rotations aimed at expanding your knowledge base in several areas, so you should think about this if you decide to apply to the Baylor family medicine residency program.
BCM being as large as it is means there are plenty of ways that you’ll be supported during your residency. Apart from the yearly salary and stipends, you’ll also have access to several support services from health and wellness programs to medical insurance and childcare. You’ll also be enrolled into an Employee Assistance Program that you can access throughout your time as resident for grief and addiction counselling or other mental health problems. But the benefits also include being automatically enrolled into professional organizations, such as the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians, where you can take advance of professional development opportunities.
Main Rotation Sites
- Ben Taub Hospital
- DeBakey Veteran's Affairs Medical Center
- St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
- Northwest Community Health Center
- Texas Children's Hospital
- Baylor Family Medicine, Kirby Clinic
Possible Rotation Sites
- Cullen Bayou Place
- DePelchin Children's Center
- Houston Child Guidance Center
- Houston Methodist
- Houston Shriners Hospital
- Jewish Family Service Cancer Center
- Kelsey-Seybold Clinic
- Park Plaza Hospital
- Seven Acres Jewish Geriatric Center
- The Woman’s Hospital of Texas
1. Show your Interest in Family Medicine
This is one obvious way that you can impress the residency director at Baylor family medicine. All a genuine and innate interest in their specific medical specialty as proof of a candidate’s potential, so you should follow that route if you want to increase your chances of getting into Baylor family medicine. In your application and interview answers, demonstrate what went into your decision for and what solidified your choice. We already mentioned a few of the ways that you can show interest in family medicine even before medical school. But during medical school, you can opt to take electives that are more patient-centered, rather than building up your scientific or technical knowledge.
For example, the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor offers a three-month diploma program for anyone interested in learning about tropical medicine, and this is the type of patient-centered, population-specific education residency directors want to see on your and your . Family medicine is about treating a community, which means that you have to have cultural competency skills that will help you interact better with different patient populations, so even something like learning another language will look good on your application. For example, other than English, the other two languages spoken most by patients at the Northwest Community Health Center are Spanish and Vietnamese.
2. But Learn Practical Skills as Well (Medical Informatics)
While we talked a lot about learning people and patient-facing skills, as a family medicine resident, you’ll also have to make medical decisions for your patients based on several factors, such as whether they can afford a certain procedure, whether they’ll respond better to an alternative therapy, and what the chances of success are for a prescribed treatment. To be able to make all these decisions, you’ll need to have a grasp of how to analyze and interpret data from past cases, which is where the field of medical informatics enters. Medical informatics blends medicine and computer science in a way that is supposed to achieve the best possible treatment outcome and this is especially important in areas where patients do not always have the resources to pay for what you would prescribe a patient with insurance. Knowing how to analyze, organize and interpret medical histories and medication effectiveness are some of the ways that you can avoid having a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine, so you can treat patients according to their individual needs.
3. Do Well on Your USMLE or COMLEX Exams
Whether Baylor family medicine will continue to rely on USMLE and COMLEX scores as part of the residency admission process is hard to say. Now that the USMLE will only issue a pass/fail grade, the program may drop it from its admissions criteria. But you should still put in the effort to do well on your USMLE Step 1 exam. The same goes for your COMLEX exam if you are coming from one of the . The COMLEX has a score report that your medical school and future residency program will have access to, so you should put as much time as possible into taking practice tests, and studying for each section of the exam.
4. Prepare for Your Interview
If you’ve spent a lot of time pursuing extracurricular activities or electives that are related to family medicine, you’ll probably have a lot to say about the discipline and why it interests you so much. You should frame your experiences in the field by citing a particular motivation, and telling a story about what you’ve done to live up to that motivation. As the interview format at Baylor family medicine is traditional, you’ll be asked a lot of questions about you in particular, such as “ “why family medicine?” and your future career plans. Before your interview, you should write out these answers or refer to your , if you wrote about them there, and condense them into short, concise answers. You can practice giving these answers in a that will also help with proper delivery, as you want to exude confidence and grace in your interview, which a mock interview will help you develop.
Baylor family medicine is an excellent residency program for someone who wants to have a life-long, professional relationship with a community. Given that the school and its public and private healthcare partners are able to provide access to so many training sites, and, by extension, so many different patient populations (urban, rural, veterans, immigrants, HIV/AIDS patients), Baylor family medicine is one of the . This excellence is further demonstrated by the fact that many residents continue with their careers at the hospital, which may also happen to you.
1. How many resident positions are there at Baylor Family Medicine
There are eight resident positions available every year.
2. Where is Baylor Family Medicine located?
The program is based out of the Texas Medical Center, which encompasses various hospitals and clinics in downtown Houston. But the program recently opened an affiliate site in Lufkin, Texas, which is the home of its rural family medicine track.
3. What are the other benefits of joining Baylor Family Medicine?
Baylor family medicine is situated within one of the largest clinic systems in Texas and the US, so you’ll have a variety of different training sites and patient populations to treat. But, in terms of wellness and compensation, you’ll have access to several discounts for fitness center memberships, in-house psychiatric counseling, health insurance for you and your family, as well as free meals for all residents.
4. How can I get into Baylor Family Medicine?
You should have a background in helping serve the underserved, and expose yourself to various different communities to gain a better understanding of cultural nuances. Your letters of recommendation and interview performance also matter, so you should choose your writers carefully and do mock interviews to put you into the right mindset.
5. Do I need to have minimum USMLE or COMLEX scores?
Yes, but this requirement will change in the upcoming application cycle, since the entire USMLE scoring system will change to a pass/fail score.
6. How long is the Baylor family medicine program?
The entire program runs for three years.
7. Is Baylor family medicine hard to get into?
Family medicine residency are not as competitive as other specialties, so as long as you write great a personal statement, have outstanding letters of recommendation, and do well in your interview, you shouldn’t have problems getting in.
8. What is the curriculum like at Baylor family medicine?
Any family medicine residency will consist of rotations through various departments and that applies to Baylor family medicine as well. You won’t have as many electives to choose from, or research opportunities, so if those matter to you, you might choose a different program. But if you want to work with as many underserved, and vulnerable populations as possible, you’ll be given plenty of different training sites, as well as having a wide ranging and eclectic set of specialties and sub-specialties to choose from.