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Family Medicine

Family Medicine Residency Questions

What advice would you give about getting letters of recommendation in your specialty? 

Three letters; two is too little; you don’t need more than three. At least two of them should be from the specialty applying to.  Ask early and from preceptors you feel you really performed well with.

What is the value of doing audition rotations in your specialty?

High value for places you expect to have at and near the top of your list. And if you can’t do a full rotation, even spending a couple of days with residents in the hospital and clinic can be helpful.  Audition rotations allow the residents and faculty to get to know you and see you perform.  Invaluable for your #1 choice.

To what extent does research, publications, or presentations affect one’s ability to match in your specialty?

In family medicine – nice to see students engaged in scholarly activity, but likely has very little impact on ability to match.

Is a Step 2CK score needed before you will invite someone for an interview?

Preferable, but not necessary.

What does the perfect applicant look like in your specialty?

Upbeat attitude, excited about the practice of family medicine; evident that you will work hard, get along with others, and be a team player. Passed step exams on first try.

Does having a below average Step 1 score doom you in your specialty? 

Not necessarily.  High scores are nice, but lower scores are not a significant issue – attitude and personality are far more important, especially if you have done an audition rotation and performed well at that residency.

Would you ever take someone with a Step 2CS failure?

Yes – but family med residencies are pretty competitive these days, and there are very many applicants who have not failed a step exam, so more difficult to get interviewed with a failure. 

Does a student need to Honor in your specialty in order to match?

No. Better performance is always preferred – but again attitude and teamwork matter!

The students have significant elective time during their 2nd and 3rd year for career exploration.

What electives would you recommend to a student who knows they are interested in your specialty?

In addition to audition rotations, I would recommend rotations where you know you may have a deficit would be good.  Otherwise, no specific expectations and would recommend rotations to further expand your knowledge and experience in areas of particular interest to you that relate to family medicine (e.g. ENT, Derm, PM&R, Endo).

What electives would you recommend to a student who is undecided but considering your specialty?

Same as above question, but more rotations in Family Med in different locations and settings e.g. rural vs. city, indigent, inpatient FM.

Is there anything else I haven’t asked that you feel an applicant to your specialty ought to know?

Family medicine is a rewarding field with a variety of paths that one can take after residency, e.g. urgent care, ER, wound care, nursing home, inpatient, and concierge.  You can decide to practice OB and even do your own surgeries/colonoscopies if you want. Depending on one’s interests they can tailor their practice to see what they enjoy treating and refer what they don’t.  Great choice is one likes treating a wide variety of ages and conditions.


John Manning, MD
Family Medicine


Family Medicine Residency Data

Length of Training:
3 years

Mean USMLE Step 1 score = 220
Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score = 235

Mean number of programs applied to: 30

Programs: 480

# of US M.D. Applicants in this specialty: 2,919

# of positions available: 3,356

Match: NRMP Main Residency Match

  Program Interview Invites(%):  Completions(%):
Before Oct. 1, 2017 29 1
Oct. 2017 41 18
Nov. 2017 17 33
Dec. 2017 9  31
Jan. 2018  4  17


Average hours worked per week: 53


Sources: NRMP; AAMC
Updated: 01-2019