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Family Medicine Residency Program -
Frequently Asked Questions


How does one apply for one of the PGY-1 or PGY-2 slots?

  • In order to apply to a military program, you will need to apply through ERAS (http://www.mods.army.mil/MedicalEducation), which is the military's centralized application process.
  • Generally, US Armed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force) First-year Graduate Medical Education (FYGME) positions are filled by graduates of accredited US medical schools and are eligible to apply for military FYGME positions.
    • Further information on the procedures for applying for military residency positions and requirements for eligibility can be obtained from the GME office in the Office of the Surgeon General at: Department of the Army, Office of the Surgeon General (MCHO-ME-GME), 5109 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22014-3258 or calling (703) 681-8036.

How can I, a medical student do a rotation at Tripler Army Medical Center?

  • Any medical student can do a rotation here at Tripler Army Medical Center if their school has a written agreement with us. Student should check with their administrative office and with the Tripler GME office at (808) 433-6992, to see if they have an agreement.

If my school has an agreement with Tripler, who do I contact to arrange such a rotation?

  • If your school has an agreement, you should contact the Tripler GME office at (808) 433-6992 for further information.

How do I request an interview for a PGY-1 or PGY-2 slot?

  • For those individuals wanting to interview with Family Medicine, we have three ways of conducting interviews (telephone, e-mail and face to face). For those desiring a telephone or face to face interview please contact the residency coordinator by e-mail.

How many slots are available within your Program?

  • The Family Medicine Program is a three-year program consisting of six slots in the first year and six slots in the last two year groups.

What is the frequency of call in your program?

  • The call schedule varies upon the rotation and resident year. First year residents take call during outpatient rotations and with a senior resident, with an average of 24 hours of weekend call during a 4 week rotation. Second and third year residents average 36 hours of weekend call during a call eligible 4 week rotation. We have a night float system to reduce the number of calls for our residents. Residents are assured one day off each week, on average.

What is the Family Medicine Board pass rate for your training program?

  • At the present time the pass rate is 97% (91 out 94).

Are minor surgical procedures performed in your family medicine clinic?

  • A minor surgery suite exists where vasectomies, biopsies and minor skin excisions are performed. Also available is a colposcopy suite. We also perform IUD and Implanon insertions, endometrial biopsies, toenail removals, treadmill stress tests, and many other minor procedures.

Is there an adequate obstetric experience?

  • There are approximately 3,600 births per year. All residents graduate with more than 60 deliveries.

How are residents evaluated?

  • Standardized evaluation tools are utilized for departmental and off-campus rotations and are performed by faculty supervising those experiences. Residents receive evaluations from faculty on every rotation through an electronic medium (MyEvaluations). Residents, each fall, complete the ABFM In-Training Examination for which we consistently perform in the upper quartiles. The assigned faculty advisors review with each resident their individual progress, and oversee self-directed components of the curriculum, at least on a quarterly basis. Faculty clinic precepting feedback is included in the residents file on a regular basis and copies are forwarded to the residents for review and discussion. The full faculty meets quarterly to review resident progress and provide feedback on areas of strength and weakness. A summary of this review is provided to each resident.

What is the status of relations with other departments within the medical center?

  • The Department of Family Medicine has been in existence for 19 years at Tripler Army Medical Center and had evolved side-by-side with those specialty areas in this medical center, which has grown exponentially in the last two decades. In view of this combined history, there has been a healthy and collaborative atmosphere that has developed between the primary care fields and the other specialty areas that extend from clinical research to medical student and residency training. In the last several years, the Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry and the Transition Year programs have approached us to ask for assistance in providing training experiences for their residents in the ambulatory practice of medicine.

What kinds of practices do your graduates end up in?

  • Most of our graduates go on in to serve in U.S. Army units, with the exception of civilian and USPHS graduates who continue with their contracted programs.
  • The scope of practice varies, but those who do obstetrics tend to also include inpatient care. Others include inpatient medicine, but choose not to do obstetrics. Over the years about 75% of graduates report including inpatient medicine, and in recent years about a third report obstetrics to be part of their practice. Our goal is to train residents so that they can leave this program feeling competent to provide full-scope Family Medicine (delivering babies, inpatient care, procedures, ambulatory and emergency room care) if they choose.

What changes do you foresee in your rotation curriculum?

  • We believe that our basic rotation curriculum is very sound. However, our philosophy is always to work toward improving residents' experience and so every year will see some adjustment based on resident and faculty feedback. There are also going to be adjustments that will be required in most residency curricula around the country with the new duty hour guidelines from the ACGME that will go into effect in July 2011.

Are changes in leadership anticipated?

  • Since we are a military training facility we lose an average of one-to-three faculty each year to military commitment.
  • However, we have top-notch, dedicated faculty and we pride ourselves in attracting and recruiting outstanding faculty year after year.

What is the accreditation status of the program?

  • The residency program was reviewed in December 2010, and we received a four year accreditation. We project our next accreditation review to be May 2015.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the program?

  • Since this is such a common filler question during interviews, we are probably making it difficult for candidates by answering it here. On the other hand, for those who are creative they will be grateful for the opportunity to explore the question in depth using the list below as jump-off points or examine other avenues of inquiry entirely.


    • Strengths:
      • Top Faculty: We have one of the best faculty in the Army. We hand select this special team who are enthusiastic to teach you the art and science of Family Medicine. We have Family Physicians with fellowships in Faculty Development, Sports Medicine, Obstetrics, and Rural Medicine. Our faculty members have won top teacher awards all over the Army. Our faculty is committed to your education and will provide a supportive environment in order to realize your full potential.
      • Humanitarian/Operational Medicine Opportunities: Tripler is the ONLY program that boasts routine and regular electives in real world Army missions. Our residents have provided care in exotic countries such as Borneo, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. This is only a sampling of the opportunities that only Tripler can give you.
      • Medical Center: Having a family medicine program sitting in one of the largest Medical Centers in the Army affords unparalled training with some of the top specialists and sub-specialists in the Army. Learn from experts while maintaining our proud core values of family medicine.
      • Hawai'i: We hope you joined the Army to explore places you've never been or lived in before. Where else could you have the op-portunity to spend three (3) years in Hawai'i! Enjoy the beauty, the culture of Oahu and Hawai'i, while learning family medicine.

    • Weaknesses:
      • Medical Center: Our strength may be considered a weakness to some. Some residents may be challenged by working with numerous specialists and residents in different specialties. While our relationships with other specialties are collegial and supportive, there are always some questions raised by medical students about being a family medicine resident in a medical center. Please see the question below for a further discussion on this topic.
      • Hawai'i: The remote location of our training program often makes it difficult for some residents in our program. We are over 2,000 miles from the next closest state and that sometimes may be difficult with your support systems during an already immensely stressful season of your life. Please ask us further if you have any questions re: the location and if Hawai'i is the right fit for you.

How are residents viewed by staff in other departments of the institution?

  • This is a common question we receive from candidates who are concerned about the way Family Medicine residents are treated in academic medical centers, and they will only get an answer they may believe when they come for an interview and talk with our residents directly. It is our feeling that the high quality of our residents over the years has built a strong reputation among their colleagues in the institution, and that there is an expectation for strong clinical skills in the Family Medicine residents. Accordingly, we feel that the other departments treat their off-service Family Medicine residents as equal members of whatever team they are on.

Will I have the opportunity to teach medical students?

  • Yes! The opportunity to teach and to recruit medical students into Family Medicine is one of the attractive features of working at Tripler. The Family Medicine student program is a vital part of the Department's mission in the institution. Residents' interactions with students on clinical rotations are vital to attracting medical students to family medicine. Family Medicine interns work with third year students when on pediatrics, medicine, surgery and obstetrics services; our inpatient service frequently has Acting Interns. Our senior residents get exposure to first and second year students who "shadow" them in clinic and to third year clerks doing their Family Medicine rotation in the Family Medicine Clinic. In addition, third-year residents are given the opportunity to precept under supervision in the Family Medicine Clinic.

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