The mission of the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency is to create and nurture learning environments where physicians are inspired to develop expertise in family medicine and to dedicate themselves to the care of individuals, families and communities especially those who are underserved.The mission of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is to improve and maintain the health of individuals and families in the Merrimack Valley by providing a network of high quality, comprehensive health care services and by training health care professionals who can respond to the needs of a culturally diverse population.
La mision del Greater Lawrence Family Health Center es la de mejorar y mantener la salud de las familias e individuos en el valle del Merrimack a traves de una amplia red de servicios de salud de alta calidad, y la de entrenar profesionales de la salud capacitados para responder a las necesidades de una poblacion de diversas culturas.
We, the members of the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, endeavor in our daily activities to uphold the highest standards of conduct and integrity. We dedicate our professional lives to caring for our patients, teaching and continuously learning while supporting each other and maintaining a healthy balance in our personal lives. We embrace a diverse and collegial working environment. Finally, our deep regard for humanity drives our individual and collective efforts to improve the healthy and well being of the community we serve.
We emphasize the following values:
Passion for Learning and Improvement
We believe that every day can be new and better if we allow ourselves the joy of learning from what does not work and we see success as baseline for tomorrow is improvement.
We will treat our patients, each other and those in our community with respect and compassion. We will approach our daily lives with honesty and fairness.
We pledge to foster a working environment of cooperation that welcomes diversity of background, experience and thought.
In the context of an intense professional experience, we are committed to celebrating the other dimensions of our lives: our loves, our families, our cultures, our faiths, our interests. We believe these very things are what make us who we are and sustain us in the pursuit of our mission.
From deep inside ourselves we are driven to serve the underserved. This drive manifests itself in our commitment to alleviate suffering and to empower patients to improve their lives.
Welcome to the Lawrence FMR community!
Dear Prospective Lawrence Family Medicine Resident,
Our website is full of specific information on our residents, faculty, and staff, our curriculum, our facilities, and our Community Health Center. It may be helpful however to first share more generally our underlying philosophy and overall goals to put everything in context for you.
First of all, we feel an obligation to provide the best family medicine residency training in the country. We seek to train the best primary care physicians in the world- and for the world- nothing less. Our residents have proven a willingness to make an extra investment in their education by undertaking a 4 year integrated curriculum, responding to the needs of our specialty as it aspires to lead our country’s healthcare system to a better, more equitable place. We also take the long view. We don’t think things will change by doing residency the same traditional ways with the same traditional curriculum, but there’s no getting around it- to preserve the best of family medicine’s past yet have room for all the new curriculum we need to provide requires more of a commitment. The bottom line is that we are not preparing people for the next three years (or the last 35) but rather for the next 40.
Given that the US currently has over 37 million people who speak Spanish, a number that is rapidly growing, we believe it will be increasingly difficult to provide healthcare for underserved populations in the future without fluency in Spanish. Every resident participates in our outstanding global health program; increasing globalization also necessitates that family physicians with an interest in international medicine learn Spanish. At graduation from our program you will be a superb family physician who has mastered the cultural aspects of delivering health care in an underserved Latino community, transferable far beyond Lawrence, ready to use your Spanish skills for your own and your patients’ benefit. Check out the details of our nationally-known Spanish curriculum elsewhere on this website.
Our national reputation as an academically powerful program is well-deserved and our residents get the “best of both worlds”. Our diverse and extremely talented faculty publishes extensively, teach at national meetings, and lead academic family medicine organizations. All our residents learn full-spectrum family medicine which includes strong maternity care training, community medicine, and tremendous experience in family medicine-based hospital care. Only 30 minutes north of Boston, we are academically affiliated with both UMass and Tufts, giving our residents access to significant academic resources and medical student teaching opportunities right here in Lawrence.
Our program has a long history of leading, not following. We were the first CHC-sponsored residency in the United States, in 1994, serving as the model for what later became the national Teaching Health Center program as part of the Affordable Care Act. Several years ago LFMR won the prestigious Innovative Program Award from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. In 2012 we were selected as one of eleven FM residency programs in the United States to participate in the ACGME’s national four year Length of Training study, as our specialty looks at how best to produce full spectrum family physicians as the foundation of a high performing healthcare system. For more information on our thoughtful, extensively studied, and well-considered reasons behind moving to a 4 year residency please go to the “4 Year Residency” tab in our website’s “Curriculum” section.
Finally, and most importantly, people here are passionate about what they do and whom they serve. When we ask residents, faculty, and staff what they most like about our residency program, the answer is universally- “the mission” and the sense of belonging to a learning community that feels like a family. We want to continue to attract people who intensely care about serving those who need it the most, now and in the future. If you are committed to caring for the underserved and seek training in an academically rigorous yet “hands-on” Teaching Health Center environment, we invite you to join us!
Wendy Barr MD MPH MSCE Residency Program Director
Joseph Gravel, MD Chair of Family Medicine & Community Health/ Program Director Emeritus
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) is a Joint Commission Accredited, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and has been caring for inhabitants of Lawrence and its neighboring communities since 1980.
It has been a “teaching health center” since 1994, as it was the first Community Health Center sponsored Residency in the country. The Health Center has over 600 employees working in its six primary care sites, two school-based health centers, fifteen shelters and other satellites within the city’s 7 square miles. The presence of this dual purpose Patient Centered Medical Home (NCQA recognition, Level 3) ensures that adults, children and families have access to quality primary health care.
This year, GLFHC’s 60,000 patients will make more than 270,000 medical visits to its six clinics, which are located in the city’s densely populated multi-ethnic neighborhoods. Health Center physicians will deliver nearly 800 babies and make 12,000 hospital visits. As the primary care physician for more than half of the adults and children residing in the city, GLFHC is the leader in community and primary medicine in Lawrence. GLFHC staff cares for patients throughout their lives, and includes 100+ family physicians (30 of whom are residents), in addition to a variety of other clinicians. Ambulatory acute care is available seven days a week at GLFHC clinics, including expanded evening hours. GLFHC offers specialty care, such as gynecology, high-risk obstetrics, colposcopy, mammography and on site pharmacy services (340B Federal designation). Approximately 65 percent of the Health Center staff members are bicultural residents of the local area, and 75 percent are bilingual. GLFHC works with other area providers to ensure that patients receive continuity of care.
In addition to “providing a network of high quality comprehensive health care services” the Health Center’s mission statement was revised in 1995 to include “training health care professionals to respond to the needs of a culturally diverse population.” This revision of our mission statement is in recognition of the importance of the Family Medicine Residency as a core element of the Health Center.
Simply stated, we are committed to: providing culturally sensitive patient care, superb medical education and an environment that is compassionate, understanding and open to continuous improvement. We have met many challenges in the past and will implement effective strategies in the future to assure we remain successful in meeting our mission.
Community Health Centers
Before community health centers were established, the impoverished and uninsured had few healthcare alternatives; preventive healthcare was nearly nonexistent. The need for primary care led to the inception of community health centers. As part of President Johnson’s administration’s “War on Poverty,” the first community health center opened at the Columbia Point Housing Project in Boston in 1965. Shortly afterwards, the Office of Economic Opportunity helped establish other health centers across the country. In the past thirty years, the number of community health centers has grown from a handful to more than 1000, providing medical care in areas where it would be otherwise unavailable.
Community health centers are nonprofit corporations with boards of directors composed of 50% patients and 50% community leaders. The mission of health centers is threefold:
To address the social conditions that affect health
To provide comprehensive services without regard to the patient’s ability to pay
To support the community by fostering needed change.
The Lawrence Family Medicine Residency is unique because it was the first in the country for which the accredited institution is a community health center.
The residency is accredited through the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and is affiliated with Lawrence General Hospital. This relationship benefits both organizations and gives residents a comprehensive range of experiences from office practice to in-hospital training. The enthusiastic support and cooperation from staff and physicians at Lawrence General Hospital contributes tremendously the residency’s success.
Founded in 1875, Lawrence General Hospital is a voluntary, not-for-profit acute care facility serving the citizens of northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. In 2010, Lawrence General Hospital clinically affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School, and with Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center for pediatrics. Its annual admissions make it the 21st largest hospital in Massachusetts. More than 200,000 outpatient visits are made each year to the hospital and its affiliates in the Lawrence General Health System. The Emergency Department treats more than 70,000 patients annually, and over 1,800 babies are born each year in the Birthing Center. Lawrence General combines comprehensive and advanced technological capabilities within the warm and neighborly atmosphere of a community hospital. It offers a full range of medical-surgical services, including:
Certified Chest Pain Center with comprehensive heart care, including interventional cardiac catheterization lab
Center for Growing Families serving expectant mothers, newborns and children in conjunction with Floating Hospital for Children
State of the art Women’s Health Imaging, offering 3D mammography to all patients
4-suite sleep center
Minimally invasive thoracic (MITS) clinic
Advanced imaging services including the only Ambient MRI in MA
Ambulatory diagnostic center
Top notch Emergency Center
Comprehensive and accredited community cancer program
Pain management center
Diabetes and nutrition care
Work health/travel services
Clinical integration, community-based care management partnerships
Education and outreach
NICHE program, specifically designed for elderly patients
GLFHC's patient population is predominantly Spanish speaking. Our goal is for each resident to provide medical care in Spanish without the need for an interpreter. As a Lawrence Family Medicine resident, you will learn to be proficient in verbal Spanish language, building a deeper, more connected relationship with patients.
High quality healthcare is only one component of a healthy community. Health leaders, particularly those committed to addressing health disparities and promoting health in vulnerable communities, must understand and be prepared to intervene upon the social and environmental determinants of health. Lawrence Family Medicine residents are leaders in a future where collaboration across sectors to improve community health will be the norm.