Family Medicine Residency Program Curriculum

The first year of the UNM Family Medicine Residency Program is very structured and hospital based. The resident follows a set course of clinical rotations in 13 four-week blocks (some of which are broken up into 2 week rotations). Residents who are with the Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe) 1+2 residency program have slightly different schedules. These schedules are developed with the approval of the Santa Fe Program Director.

Second and third year rotations allow flexibility in scheduling to meet the program requirements as well as individual resident interests and career needs. Residents consult with their faculty advisor and the program directors when designing electives.

Elective Rotations

Electives are individually planned and tailored rotations that meet individual needs and career plans. Electives may include any area offered by the university system, or as arranged with other programs. A list of currently available electives is available from the Residency Office or residents may design an elective to suit their particular needs. Many residents choose to do away rotations which can be arranged. The faculty are also available to help facilitate the development of any particular project.

Procedural Training

We believe graduates of our program should have the skills to work anywhere. Many of our graduates are in rural or medically underserved parts of the state and country. As such, this expansive skills-building includes focus in procedural training. Outside of procedure-oriented rotations, residents are also encouraged to perform procedures during their clinics sessions as the primary care provider.

Most residents train to competency with the following, if not all, procedures: Cryotherapy of skin lesions, skin tag removal, callus and corn management, laceration repair, punch biopsy of skin, excisional biopsy, nail avulsion, shave biopsy, fetal monitor interpretation, intrapartum cervical exams, SROM evaluation, amniotomy, intrauterine pressure catheter placement, fetal scalp electrode placement, normal spontaneous vaginal delivery, first and second degree perineal repair, shoulder dystocia management, foley and cook catheter insertion for induction, insertion of medicinal cervical ripening agents, paracervical block, pap smears, endometrial biopsy, IUD placement and removal, nexplanon implant insertion and removal, aspiration of early pregnancy loss, colposcopy, vasectomy, circumcision, incision and drainage of abscesses, arthrocentesis of knee, injection of bursa (subacromial, subtrochanteric), immobilization with splinting and casting, trigger point injections, POC ultrasound exposure, ultrasound-guided paracentesis, first trimester ultrasound, obstetrical ultrasound to identify fetal presentation, AFI, and placental location.

Unique Curriculum Focus Areas

Our program is constantly growing and evolving and we strive to be responsive to the changing healthcare and educational landscape. In that regard, our program is like a great Family Doctor- we aim to meet the needs of our specific communities.

A recent example is our focus on Transgender Health. If you are interested in learning more about how to provide appropriate, safe and affirming care for transgender/gender non-conforming/non-binary youth and adults, there will be many opportunities here at the UNM Family Medicine Residency. If you have any additional questions regarding this portion of residency training please contact Dr. Molly McClain at

Another area we focus on is linking resident scholarship with our innovative Population Health curriculum. We feel that avoiding “burnout” during residency (and beyond) is more than just doing certain things less- it’s also about being given time and mentorship to work on projects and initiatives that feel meaningful. We devote 2 months to “Population Health and Scholarship,” and also block off time longitudinally to continue to work on projects.

Other areas that we’ve recently invested additional resources in include our Point of Care Ultrasound curriculum (POCUS), suboxone training for all our residents, and providing our residents more training in teaching skills- such as how to provide feedback and how to lead effective educational sessions.