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Approximately one-third of your IM residency is spent in the ambulatory setting. The core of the ambulatory experience takes place with the Internal Medicine Associates (IMA), the adolescent and adult medicine center located across the street from Illinois Masonic. The patients who receive their care at IMA are as diverse as the community where we are located. Our mix of ages, genders, ethnic/socioeconomic backgrounds, and insurance status covers the span of patients seen in today's practice of outpatient medicine.

The primary goal of your ambulatory experience is to provide excellent and meaningful medical care for patients. The first step is a focus on primary prevention thru a collaborative effort involving patients, physicians, and other members of the healthcare team. Residents screen for early disease processes, diagnose and treat acute and chronic medical problems and develop a holistic approach to care using the biopsychosocial model.

Residents are organized into FIRM teams with their peers and core internal medicine faculty. These teams serve as a medical home for both patients and physicians. FIRMs coordinate patient care across the entire continuum and are designed to positively impact patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. This prepares residents for integrated inpatient/outpatient models of care such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

First-year residents will have one 2-hour clinic session a week, starting in August, with one patient scheduled per hour. By November, you will be scheduled a patient every 30 minutes for the remainder of your residency. Senior residents will have two clinic sessions a week, which allows them to build their own panel of continuity patients.

Other ambulatory medicine experiences include the first-year Ambulatory Rotation, as well as the Union Health Services rotation for senior residents. Residents improve their outpatient proficiency in a variety of general medical and specialty ambulatory care settings. These rotations provide exposure to occupational health, ENT, wound care, high-risk obstetrics, dermatology, pulmonary medicine, allergy and immunology, ophthalmology, anticoagulation management and adolescent medicine. Opportunities are available for certification in flexible sigmoidoscopy.

The faculty has developed a comprehensive lecture series that includes evidence-based information for practicing general internal medicine. Over the three years of the residency, you will have reviewed nearly 100 up-to-date journal articles covering general internal medicine outpatient topics. Past residents have commented that this lecture series was very instrumental in passing their internal medicine boards. More importantly, this series equips residents with the tools their need for real world outpatient practice. Senior residents also choose an additional half-day per week community clinic in an area of interest (e.g. cardiology, GI, rheumatology, women's health, primary care, etc), which provides further preparation for outpatient specialty or primary care medicine.

Ambulatory medicine is the cornerstone of an Internal Medicine residency program. Our outpatient and ambulatory curriculum is exceptional and provides physicians with the skills they need for office practice in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment.

Dr. Robert Saqueton, MD, FACP
Section Chief, Outpatient Medicine and Primary Care
Medical Director, AMG Internal Medicine Associates-Wilton

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