Family Medicine Residency Program
On behalf of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Alabama, I would like to extend a personal welcome to you as you look through our website to learn a little more about our exceptional program.
Here at USA Family Medicine, our mission is to provide our residents with the highest level of training with an emphasis on preparing learners to care for individuals as well as populations. Clinically, our learners graduate with exceptional skills in caring for an underserved population. Clinical experiences include those with diverse populations such as patients with sickle cell disease and delivery of care to victims of domestic abuse. We provide family medicine directed hospital based care as part of the continuum in a Level 1 trauma center as well as a specialized pediatric/women’s hospital. We purposefully provide access to a wide variety of clinical opportunities. As a learner, you will only have one shot at a residency and the learning curve is steep.
In addition, we provide access to a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home as the primary clinical site. With an emphasis on wellness and prevention, our patients benefit from learners who “go the extra mile” to facilitate access to evidence based care. More recently, we have begun to focus on delivering high impact care to individuals whose medical problems are superseded by other needs. Rather than using a medical model, we are creating a multidisciplinary model of care within which learners from multiple backgrounds come together to improve patient health and wellbeing.
Another addition to the program is an optional PGY 4 year in population health sciences. Multiple members of our faculty have public health training. This PGY 4 year will provide the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in quality improvement (with an emphasis on rapid cycle change), PCMH administration, care for the complex patient. Persons completing this year of training would be prepared for care delivery in an era of increased accountability at the macro level.
For over 35 years, our dedicated faculty, community faculty, and support staff have guided our residents in their journey to becoming successful. As a small program in a small medical community, we enjoy exceptional camaraderie among faculty, staff, and residents of all specialties. We provide an enjoyable work environment conducive to increasing one’s fund of knowledge, learning to be part of an effective team, and forming the leaders of our future.
In addition to receiving high quality education, our residents enjoy extraordinary quality of life. Founded in 1702, Mobile, Alabama offers a unique Gulf Coast experience you won’t find anywhere else. Located just one hour away from the beautiful white sand beaches, Mobile is situated at the head of Mobile Bay, home of some of the best sailing in the area. The delta, minutes away, offers the perfect playground for a variety of outdoor activities. We enjoy a warm climate almost year-round. In addition, we have the country’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration, beautiful waterways, fresh seafood and so much more.
I hope that you enjoy browsing our website and learning more about what the University of South Alabama Family Medicine Residency program has to offer you.
We look forward to meeting you soon.
Allen Perkins, MD, MPH
Professor & Chair
The focus of the curriculum is to allow the graduate the potential to practice the full range of family medicine, including obstetrics should they so choose. This is accomplished through a variety of 4 week block rotations. Evaluation and feedback are given on a regular basis through a variety of means. The first year offers an emphasis on hospital care. The second year offers a mix of hospital based and ambulatory medicine. The third year is more focused on ambulatory training.
Orientation (1 month)
Family Medicine Wards (2 months)
Internal Medicine Wards (1 month)
Pediatric Wards (1 month)
ICU (1 month)
Surgery (1 month)
OB (1 month)
Newborn Nursery (1 month)
Pediatric ER (1 month)
Adult ER (1 month)
Community Medicine (1 month)
Family Medicine Wards (3 months)
Cardiology (1 month)
Community Medicine (1 month)
Sports Medicine ( 1 month)
Gynecology (1 month)
ICU (1 month)
OB (1 month)
Rural Medicine (1 month)
Geriatrics (1 month)
Population Health (1 month)
Family Medicine Wards (1 month)
Continuity Clinic (2 months)
Sports Medicine (1 month)
Adult ER (1 month)
Elective (8 months)
**2 elective rotations can be fulfilled outside of the USA Health system
PGY1 has an average one continuity clinic per week.
PGY2 has an average of two continuity clinics per week.
PGY3 has an average of at least three continuity clinics per week.
PGY-1 take call 5 months out of the year and average 4 calls a month.
PGY-2 takes 40 family medicine calls per year with 4 calls per month for ten months. No FM calls are assigned during ICU or OB night float months. During ICU month, calls are every fourth day.
PGY-3 takes approximately 21-22 calls per year with an average of 2 calls or less per month over 12 months.
During an average call, the resident is expected to cover patients at both USA Health University Hospital and USA Health Children's & Women’s Hospital.
Where is Mobile, Alabama?
Mobile is situated in the small area of southern Alabama along the Gulf of Mexico. Mobile is the port city that sits at the top of Mobile Bay.
What are the demographics of the patient population we serve?
We have a good mix of variety in age, socioeconomic status, race, and insurance coverage. We have a large number of pediatric patients. We have a mix of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian patients. We are primary physicians for a large number of hospital employees (ranging from fellow physicians to housekeeping). We provide care for uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, BCBS, TriCare, and other private insurances. We also provide care for international merchant marine crews that need medical attention while in Mobile’s port.
What about hurricanes?
Hurricane season lasts June 1 to November 30. Mobile itself is somewhat protected by geography since we are inland ~ 1hour compared to the beaches. The hospital provides accommodations for residents during times of Hurricanes. Our family medicine clinic is open to all of our faculty, staff, and residents and their families. Our building has withstood a category 5 hurricane in the past. If you are not scheduled to work in the immediate time period of a hurricane, you are able to evacuate if desired.
What “extras” are provided beyond our salary (books, meals, parking, moving, etc)?
On call meals are reimbursed at a rate of $5.00/meal. Parking is free at all locations. There is a book stipend within the Family Medicine department, and we get a discount at the medical bookstore. We are reimbursed for mileage for work travel. We receive discounted service from a cellular service as hospital employees. We are provided with embroidered white coats (3 intern year and 1/year each additional year) and scrubs. An electronic book stipend and access to the Challenger board review course is provided. Further details regarding insurance and moving reimbursement are available under salary/benefits section.
How does our program compare to university-based versus community-based programs?
We are officially a university-based program, but we enjoy many benefits found within community programs. We have a small overall number of housestaff in our system. This allows us little to no competition for patient management and procedures. Family Medicine residents do almost all of our own procedures and manage our own ICU patients. We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties. Although many of our rotations are within the university hospital system, we spend a lot of time working in various clinics, hospitals, and areas within the community.
How well are family practitioners received by other specialties and staff at the hospital?
We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties. Family Medicine physicians are well respected within our hospital and community.
How much personal/family life/family time do our resident’s get?
Intern year is traditionally more vigorous, with improvement in your schedule and available free time each subsequent year. The 80 hour work week is strictly enforced within our institution. Most months, you enjoy 2-3 weekends free of all responsibilities.
Where do most residents live?
The majority of residents (family practice and other specialties) live in an area of Mobile known as Midtown, located within a few mile radius of the hospitals and clinic. Some residents live in west mobile, which is about a 20 minute drive from the hospitals and clinic. Others live “across the bay” in Spanish Fort, Daphne, or Fairhope (all located in Baldwin County), which is also about a 20 minute drive. Housing is affordable on a resident’s salary whether renting or purchasing.
What is the cost of living like in Mobile?
Overall cost of living is very affordable on a resident’s salary.
What are schools like in the Mobile area?
Several public and private schools are available in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The public schools on the Eastern Shore are some of the best public schools in the state of Alabama.
What is Mobile’s proximity to other major cities?
Driving time from Mobile to:
- New Orleans: 2-3 hours
- Atlanta: 5 hours
- Birmingham: 4 hours
- Pensacola: 45 minutes-1 hour
- Biloxi: 30-45 minutes
Airports available: Mobile, Pensacola, Biloxi/Gulfport
What moonlighting opportunities are available?
Residents are allowed to moonlight after obtaining an Alabama license. It is not allowed to interfere with regular residency duties. There are opportunities to moonlight in the emergency room at our Children's & Women’s Hospital, in emergency rooms in the community, for disability physicals, urgent care, and many more.
How well do residents get along with each other?
Our residents are a very cohesive group. We have “out of hospital” social activities at least once a month, but groups of residents often get together for dinner, movies, trips to the beach, holiday get-togethers, birthdays, etc. We also have a weekend in the spring where residents go on retreat to Gulf Shores, Alabama.
How are resident-faculty interactions?
Our attendings are very approachable and easy going. They work with us with a vested interest in our learning and well-being. They are always eager to teach.
How much OB training is there?
There are two required months on the Obstetrics Labor & Delivery service. One month is covered during PGY1 year and the second month is covered during PGY2 year. We have OB continuity patients throughout our 3 years. If someone has a special interest in OB or plans to incorporate OB into their practice upon graduation, time is available during the 3rd year for elective rotations in OB to increase experience and skills.
Is research required?
No, but it is an option if you are interested.
What are our surgery rotations like?
We require 1 month of surgery. During the intern year, residents work as members of the medical center general surgery service with the surgery residents. During this rotation, residents also interact largely with an attending surgeon who specializes in breast and thyroid surgery, as well as our GI surgeons, and plastic surgeons.
Do we have resident retreat?
Yes. Each Spring, we have a dedicated 3 day, 2 night weekend retreat to the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The retreat is paid for by the Family Medicine Residency Department. It is a much needed break from hospital and clinical duties, as well as an excellent time to get to know each other a little better and spend time in the company of good friends. You might even get a little bit of sun too!
Criteria for Candidate Interview Selection
The USA Family Medicine Residency participates in ERAS and will only consider those applicants who apply through the Match process. All applications will be screened for eligibility and qualified applicants will be offered an interview prior to the Match deadline. Preference will be given to applicants that have graduated within the past 18 months. Additional applicant qualifications are as follows:
Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications in order to be eligible for appointment at the PGY-I level:
- Graduate (or anticipated graduation prior to July 1 of application year) of a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
- Graduate (or anticipated graduation prior to July 1 of application year) of a medical school accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
- Graduate of a medical school outside the U.S: to be considered, the applicant must have a currently valid certificate from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and be have graduated from a school recognized by all 50 states.
- Applicants must have taken USMLE Steps I and II or COMLEX: Passed (1st attempt and score of > 215 preferred). The applicant should have at least one year of continuous and current education (either medical school or post medical school) in the United States.
Applicants for all positions will be selected from among those deemed eligible on the basis of their preparedness, ability, and interest in completion of the program without regard to race, creed, gender, or sexual preference. This process will consist of review of information as outlined in the application document, dean’s letter, letters of recommendation, and personal interview. Aptitudes, academic credentials, personal characteristics, and ability to communicate will be strongly considered in the selection process. Applicants not expressing a strong interest in Family Medicine will not be considered for a PGY-I position.
We do not sponsor any visas.
If you meet these criteria, we'd love to review your application. Submit your application through ERAS. Our residency coordinator will get in touch with you to schedule your visit.
Please feel free to visit our blogs USA Family Medicine Blog with information and thoughts about medicine, teaching and residency and USA Family Medicine Facebook, your one stop for all things happening in Mobile and with our residency. We look forward to hearing from you!