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Department of Family Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a community (unopposed) or university (opposed) program?
How big are your hospitals? How far apart are the 2 hospitals you work at?
How many resident positions do you offer every year?
What opportunities do you have for medical students to come rotate with you?
How much ICU training do your residents get?
What are residency tracks?
What kind of procedures to your residents get experience in?
Where do residents practice after graduation?
What international experiences are available?
What sets your program apart from the others?
Do you accept foreign medical school graduates?

1. Are you a community (unopposed) or university (opposed) program?
We have the best of both worlds! We are a community-based program with a university affiliation. We do most of our training at Trident Hospital, as well as some training at the Medical University of South Carolina. We get the benefits of the unopposed experience, being the only residents at Trident Hospital, & being able to take full advantage of the inpatient services & the various specialties without the competition from other residency programs. However, being affiliated with the Medical University allows us to provide pediatric training at the nationally accredited MUSC Children’s Hospital. This gives us the advantage of being able to offer superb pediatric training that other strictly community-based programs are unable to offer.

Trident Hospital2. How big are your hospitals? How far apart are the 2 hospitals you work at? 
Trident Hospital is located approximately 15 minutes outside of downtown Charleston & is considered a large community hospital. It has 296 beds & provides a comprehensive range of services and specialties expected by a major medical center. The Medical University of South Carolina is a 700-bed academic medical center, named “One of America’s Best Hospitals” of 2009 & with nearly 300 of its physicians being named to the “Best Doctors in America”.

3. How many resident positions do you offer every year?
We offer 10 categorical family medicine positions each year, as well as 6 transitional year positions for residents entering other fields, such as radiology.

4. What opportunities do you have for medical students to come rotate with you?
We offer 4th year electives & externships for visiting students. For information on the application please click here. If you are unable to participate in one of our available 4th year rotations, we encourage you to come visit for a day and experience what we have to offer. We would set you up to round with one of our inpatient teams, enjoy our didactic lectures, & visit our clinic.

5. How much ICU training do your residents get?
We do not have formal ICU rotations. Instead, we have a comprehensive inpatient service that cares for our patients both on the floor, in the step-down units, and in the ICU. Therefore, you will get ICU experience on all of your inpatient & night float rotations, accumulating to arguably more experience that in a separate distinct critical care rotation. This allows us better patient-care continuity while still maintaining a phenomenal ICU training experience.

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6. What are residency tracks?
Tracks are a formally developed structure to allow residents to focus their interests during their 2nd and 3rd year of residency. It provides residents with opportunities to participate in elective rotations geared towards their area of interest. Our available tracks include Academic Medicine, Women’s Health, Sports Medicine, Underserved & Global Health, and Behavioral Medicine. Our faculty also are very supportive in helping residents develop new tracks specific to their interests if they so choose.

7. What kind of procedures to your residents get experience in?
The procedures taught in the Trident/MUSC Family Medicine residency program represent the Family Medicine Review Committee recommended procedures as well as the procedures most commonly performed in our clinics and by our graduates. Every five years, we survey all graduates of all family medicine residency programs in South Carolina, and one of the questions we ask them is about what procedures they are doing in their practice. Each of these identified procedures are taught during our Thursday afternoon "Skills Seminars" every year in 16 half-day sessions. In addition, they are taught during procedure clinic and residents are encouraged to do procedures throughout their clinic day.

Procedures taught include:

  • Dermatology (incision/drainage of abscess, simple laceration repair with sutures, anesthesia for skin procedures, skin biopsies, cryosurgery, electrosurgery, fingernail/toenail removal, foreign body removal, dermatological aesthetics/cosmetic surgery)
  • Diabetes management (finger stick blood glucose testing, insulin injections, foot care, wound care, diabetes self-management education)
  • ENT procedures (audiogram, foreign body removal, tympanogram)
  • Genitourinary procedures (anoscopy, hemorrhoid management, circumcision)
  • Ophthalmology (eye fluorescein exam, foreign body removal, slit lamp exam)
  • Pulmonary (office spirometry, peak flow meters, metered dose inhalers, dry powdered inhalers, spacers nebulizers)
  • Orthopedics/sports medicine (splints, immobilization/stabilization of severe sprains and nondisplaced fractures, injection and aspiration of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles)
  • Radiology (chest xray interpretation, common imaging in primary care)
  • Women's Health (endometrial biopsy, breast cyst aspiration, bartholin cyst marsupilization, vulvar biopsy, IUD insertion and removal, Implanon insertion and removal, wet mount, Pap smear, colposcopy, LEEP, cryotherapy, normal vaginal delivery, IUPC, fetal scalp monitor, shoulder dystocia)

In addition to these core procedures, residents have opportunities to learn other procedures (lumbar puncture, central line placement, colonoscopy, etc.) on an Surrounding Stateselective basis.

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8. Where do residents practice after graduation?
More than half of our graduates stay in the Southeastern US (specifically South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia) , practicing mostly in a group setting, though some graduates open solo practices.

9. What international experiences are available?
Recent resident international medical missions trips have been to Haiti, Equador, Madagascar, Uganda, India. These trips are planned on an individual basis, mainly depending upon the interest of the resident.

10. What sets your program apart from the others?
“A great program with both academic and community training, friendly faculty and residents, and the beach living” –Emily Bush
“Teaching that is second to none and clinic/hospital experiences that provide necessary variety” –Ryan Simonak
“The perfect combination of down to earth people, my ideal curriculum, and a great location…..a diverse, laid back group of residents and the very welcoming program directors and staff” –Kristen Hood Watson
“Getting the best of both the academic and community worlds. The dedicated time for scholarly activity is also a real bonus.” –Lars Peterson
“The mix of community and academic medicine; the way that it emphasizes preparing you for life post-residency; and the ability to tailor your experience to your individual interests is really awesome!” –Erek Majka
“Trident is unique in that it provides the training of both a community and academic program. The residents and attendings are knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, and welcoming to diversity.” –Brandon Brown
“It really is the best of both worlds - getting to interact with other specialty residents at MUSC with a great pediatric experience, while also getting the feel of the community side as the only residents at Trident.”
–Ashleigh Zacarias

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11. Do you accept foreign medical school graduates?
Trident Medical Center/ MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program accepts international medical graduates and sponsors J-1 and H 1-B visas. We have the following requirements for your application to be considered:

If you are a current student in a non-LCME accredited school:
You must be ECFMG Eligible.
You must have a minimum USMLE score of 190 with no failed attempts.
You must have a favorable recommendation from a faculty, resident, or residency alumnus of the Department of Family Medicine at MUSC (this recommendation must be made based upon personal experience with the candidate in a clinical setting).

If you are a graduate of a non-LCME accredited school:
You must be ECFMG Certified.
You must be within four (4) years of graduation from medical school.
You must have a minimum USMLE score of 190 with no failed attempts.
You must have a favorable recommendation from a faculty, resident, or residency alumnus of the Department of Family Medicine at MUSC (this recommendation must be made based upon personal experience with the candidate in a clinical setting).

Individual consideration will be given to those applicants with a favorable recommendation from a clinical faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina.

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