6 Best Family Medicine Residency Programs (Key Info & Data)

Family medicine is a diverse medical specialty, with a $212,000 median clinical salary and an attractive 3-year training program.

Focused on helping rural and urban communities as the first point of medical care, it’s also an important one.

The best family medicine residency programs offer those interested in the specialty the greatest training possible in the field and boast some of the finest physicians on earth as alumni. But they are competitive.

This article takes a look at the top 6 programs in the country (ranked as per the US News Best Grad Schools Rankings 2022), taking a deep dive into what’s offered by each and what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to match.

We’ve also included key info on facts/stats for each program (where publicized) too.

Ready to get started? Let’s go.

Best Family Medicine Residency Programs

1. Oregon Health and Science University

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:8
Total Number of Residents:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$65,000
Practice Setting: Urban, suburban, rural

The OHSU Family Medicine Residency Program in Portland, Oregon, trains physicians in a rigorous academic environment. Residents gain exposure to a wide breadth of care models from a university setting to the rural frontier. Accredited in 1971, the program is one of the oldest residencies in family medicine.

The innovative four-year curriculum offers residents both a small-team experience within the five affiliated clinics and all the opportunities of an extensive clinical system. The program focuses on the scope of practice in family medicine, population health, quality improvement, and leadership. As leaders in family medicine, graduates are prepared for the growing complexity of patient care and ready to step into any environment.

The Clinic First curriculum alternates inpatient rotations and outpatient rotations of two weeks each, minimizing transitions. Residents maintain continuity of care in their home clinic while being exposed to the in-depth care provided in the hospital.

The Area of Concentration curriculum is self-directed to allow residents to develop a specific set of skills through longitudinal experiences. This time can be allotted to subspecialty clinic engagement, additional time on existing rotations, or work on capstone projects.

The capstone project is fully integrated into the four years of residency. It’s an individual project that requires sustained effort for residents to demonstrate their knowledge of a subject that interests them.

See the video below for more on OHSU’s program..,


  • Name: Oregon Health & Science University
  • Location: 4411 S Vermont St, Portland, OR 97219
  • Program director: Mary Nordling
  • Contact: 503-494-6600
  • Website: ohsu.edu/family-medicine

2. University of Washington

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:10
Total Number of Residents:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,588
Practice setting:Rural, suburban, urban

The University of Washington Family Medicine Residency is a university-based program in Seattle, Washington, with rural training opportunities. The University of Washington has one of the oldest and largest Family Medicine departments in the nation. 

This residency program comprises three separate training tracks. The Northgate track hosts six residents per class at the primary clinical site of the UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinic system. Two residents per class take part in the Harborview Track and see patients at the Harborview satellite clinic, Seattle’s public hospital, and regional trauma center. And the two residents in the Chelan Rural Training Track spend one-year training in Seattle and two years training at a community health clinic in Chelan, Washington.

The curriculum prepares residents to take care of patients in any practice setting. The program’s strengths include Sports Medicine, Reproductive Health and Abortion Training, and Global Health, with well-developed opportunities in Malawi and Kenya.

The video below provides a nice overview of UW’s program…


3. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:14
Total Number of Residents:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$60,400

The UNC Family Medicine Residency program trains full-scope family practice physicians. A mix of patient care and teaching from nationally known faculty prepares residents to meet the diverse needs of the people of North Carolina.

The program adopts the philosophy that patients teach, and the core of residency training is broad exposure to patient care. Residents are also encouraged to develop the habit of critical appraisal. They’re expected to define their knowledge gaps and proactively take responsibility for filling them.

The schedule includes time for residents to explore electives and build their unique paths. Areas of Concentration (AOCs) allow residents with special interests to individualize their training experience further.

In 2020, UNC expanded the residency in Chatham County to develop the Integrated Behavioral Health program with Piedmont Health Services. The goal is to train rural doctors with the skills required to meet the specific needs of rural communities.

Check out the video below for more insight…


  • Name: UNC School of Medicine
  • Location: 590 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • Program director: Mallory Brown
  • Contact: 984-974-4544
  • Website: med.unc.edu/residency

4. University of California – San Francisco

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:15
Total Number of Residents:N/A
PGY1 Annual Salary:$64,362

The UCSF Family & Community Medicine Residency Program at San Francisco General Hospital prepares family physicians to provide quality care for underserved urban communities.

The academic residency program is integrated into the public health system of San Francisco County. The program attracts candidates interested in eliminating the disparities in health care, and residents primarily provide care in clinics serving uninsured and publicly insured patients.

This is a fast-paced residency with a diverse and curious community. Residents at UCSF learn each other’s strengths. The program is founded on the principle that the health of one individual is connected to the health of all individuals. Thus, it addresses both the minutia of cellular processes and macro systemic issues such as culture and policy.

Classroom time supplements learning in the clinical environment. The longitudinal curricula focus on knowledge building in the first year, skill-building in the second year, then practical application in the third year of residency.

The video below gives a little more insight into UCSF’s program…


5. University of Minnesota

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:10
Total Number of Residents:8 programs
PGY1 Annual Salary:$57,156
Practice Setting:Rural, suburban, urban

The University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health trains family physicians to provide comprehensive care for the whole family in urban and rural settings. It offers eight residency programs, each with its curricular strengths and sense of community.

Residency at the UMN Medical Center fosters a welcoming environment that brings enjoyment to the learning process. Focused on health equity, it teaches family medicine through data-driven innovative change. And the ACGME Osteopathic Recognition application is in process for trainees starting in 2022.

In other programs, Duluth residents see a high volume of high-risk OB and C-section. At Mankato, sports and musculoskeletal medicine are emphasized. And Methodist offers robust hospital training, including house coverage. North Memorial, St Cloud, St John’s, and Woodwinds complete the list of training opportunities available to residents.

To find out more about UMN’s family medicine residency program, check out the video below…


6. University of Wisconsin – Madison

Length of Accredited Training:3
Positions By Year:16
Total Number of Residents:48
PGY1 Annual Salary:$63,143
Practice Setting:Urban, suburban, rural

The Madison Family Medicine Residency Program offers robust experiences in obstetrics, critical care medicine, and pediatrics.

From the first year, residents establish a continuity practice at one of four family medicine centers (FMCs). Each FMC features a full range of medical care, including maternity care, home care, and nursing home coverage.

The residency benefits from being a university program primarily located in a community hospital. Residents get the “high-touch” community hospital flavor of St. Mary’s with the strengths of being part of the University of Wisconsin Hospital. First-year residents complete their community emergency medicine rotation in a rural community hospital.

The behavioral science curriculum is a strong foundation of the program. And the longitudinal community health rotation is designed to integrate the use of local health and social resources into clinical care. Residents have a minimum of 12 weeks of elective time and can arrange longitudinal electives to meet their educational goals.

Two resident physicians join the Rural Health Equity Track (RHET) each year. This track prepares residents for rural practice and rural health advocacy, including medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opioid addiction.

You can find out more about Madison’s family med program in the video below…


How Do Family Medicine Residency Programs Work?

Training in family medicine involves completing four years of graduate medical education first before moving on to dedicated residency training programs.

Upon successfully matching (applications are made in the final year of a medical degree), residents will usually complete a combination of the following:

  1. 3 years of training (credited by the ACGME)
  2. (Optional) 1 further year or additional years in combination with another medical specialty (i.e. psychiatry)

The main training period sees family medicine residents gaining experience in ambulatory, community, and inpatient environments. The first year of training (internship year), sees residents rotate through major medical disciplines while taking their final USMLE or COMLEX-USA exam.

Combined family medicine programs are typically five years in length. Common combined residency options include:

  • FM-emergency medicine
  • FM-internal medicine
  • FM-psychiatry
  • FM-preventive medicine
  • FM-osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine

The best place to search for family medicine residency programs is via the AAFP directory. There you can choose programs by state, community (rural, suburban, urban, etc.), program type, and program size.

How Many Family Medicine Residency Programs Are There?

There are 741 family medicine residency training programs accredited by the ACGME. These include single and combined programs and correlate to the last 2021 NRMP Match.

The example programs outlined in the article above are considered the finest offered among those programs in the US and are ranked on criteria via peer assessment, residency director assessment, student selectivity, the mean MCAT score for the institution, the mean GPA of its matriculants, faculty resources, research activity and more.

The exact methodology is detailed in the U.S. News Best Medical Schools Rankings pages

How To Get Accepted Into A Top Family Medicine Residency Program

Gaining admission into the top family residency programs involves submitting a competitive application via ERAS, The Electronic Residency Application Service.

This is a centralized online application service that you’ll need to use in order to “match” into the programs above.

Most programs begin reading applications over the first couple of weeks of autumn/fall and invite applicants to interview in the weeks following.

Generally, family medicine residency program applications include the following:

  • A completed ERAS application
  • Personal statement/s
  • Supplemental statement/s (where requested)
  • Letters of recommendation from family medicine doctors (usually following the SLOR format)
  • A full, official medical school transcript
  • Your USMLE Step 1/COMLEX transcripts
  • Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Selection criteria are specific for each program but commonly applicants are scored on a combination of grades, clinical and research experiences, special interests, and anything else family/general medicine departments/programs find relevant.

Family medicine programs like to see an emphasis on the following areas (as a general rule):

  1. Experience in outpatient medicine
  2. An interest in primary care

To be competitive, and stand a chance at matching into the best family medicine programs, you’re going to need great Step 1 and Step 2 scores, a strong MSPE, and a solid letter of recommendation.

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