Mission and History
The Family Medicine Residency Program of Wake Forest is a dynamic group of medical professionals dedicated to excellence in education, clinical care and research. Our mission is to provide extraordinary training for our residents in comprehensive, compassionate, continuous, and evidenced-based patient care and to prepare them for medical practice and medical leadership in the 21st century. The pursuit of our mission is carried out in a supportive environment that seeks to promote the personal and professional development of all members of the Department of Family Medicine with a special emphasis on our Family Medicine Residents.
In response to changing social needs in medicine and the national need for increasing the number of training programs in primary care, the Wake Forest School of Medicine created the Department of Family Medicine in 1974. The Residency Program was in-part funded by the Northwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program. It is one of nine regional AHEC programs established in North Carolina by legislative action of the General Assembly in 1975.
In 1975 the first class of eight residents was recruited. The residency has been stable with 10 residents per year since an expansion in 1998.
Over the past 38 years the department has been led by three Chairpersons: Julian Keith, MD, Marjorie Bowman, MD and, for the past 15 years, Michael Coates, MD, MS. There have been four past Residency Directors and one current Director.
The faculty now includes 21 full-time and 2 part-time physicians, 3 Physician Assistants, a clinical psychologist, an IT/ research statistician, 3 research psychologists, and a Doctor of Pharmacy. At the Family Medicine Center 13 nurses play essential roles in the education of our residents.
The Wake Forest Family Medicine Residency is a medical home for our patients and the educational home for our residents. Since 1978, Wake Forest Family Medicine Residency Training Program has had 346 graduates. We are proud to say that 75% of our graduates have chosen to live and practice in communities across North Carolina while others have scattered across the US finding unique and interesting paths to contribute to medical care. Upon graduation these new physicians are prepared to develop careers in medicine dedicated to the highest standards of the medical profession.