MGH has great family residency

After a student has finished their four years of pre-medical education, and successfully completed their four years of medical school, they go on for additional education and training in what is called a medical residency program.

So, just what is a medical residency program? Residency is defined as that additional formal graduate medical education that consists of on-the-job training of medical school graduates, and completion of a residency program is required for board certification in any medical or surgical specialty.

Residency programs are usually 3 to 5 years in length, and they consist of medical education and training in a specific specialty. Residency programs must be completed in an accredited hospital and in its outpatient facilities with close supervision and instruction from numerous physicians on the hospital staff.

We are indeed fortunate to have our Family Medicine Residency Program here at Marquette General. It was founded in 1979 to provide young doctors with a medical residency experience in our great Upper Peninsula rural setting.

It is an intense three year program and to date, the program has graduated 169 Family Medicine Specialists. Our residency program graduates are very well trained and they are highly respected Family Medicine Specialty Physicians. Another great benefit of having this residency program here is that almost half of the graduates choose to stay and practice medicine in the Upper Peninsula.

Each year there are six new recently graduated medical students who are accepted into the Marquette General Family Medicine Program. Since it is a three year program, there are a total of 18 resident physicians in the program, with six residents each in their first, second, or third year of training at Marquette General.

The size of our program is a definite advantage in that it allows for tailored training to meet the individual needs of each resident. Training takes place at Marquette General, a Duke LifePoint Hospital, at the Marquette General Family Medicine practice at the Peninsula Medical Center, as well as at various other sites throughout the Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program is a fully accredited family medicine residency program. It is based here in Marquette, and has the advantage of being a community-based, three-year training program that trains both allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) physicians to become board-certified in their chosen specialty of family medicine.

The program follows the strict guidelines of the national governing organizations, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association. Graduates of this program are very well qualified to manage the full range of the practice of Family Medicine.

A physician who has completed their residency in the specialty of Family Medicine has been formally trained in multiple areas of the practice of medicine. This is a very important aspect of this specialty because they are called upon to treat many different medical conditions, in both adults and children.

The contributions of these primary care physicians are many and varied, and this allows them to contribute significantly to the health and well-being of all their patients. Along with so many of my medical colleagues, we truly appreciate having this great residency training program here in the Upper Peninsula.

We also appreciate the willingness of so many talented physicians who contribute their time and talents to help teach our Marquette Family Medicine resident physicians.

Editor’s note: Dr. Jim Surrell, author of “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet,” has his practice at the Digestive Health Clinic at Marquette General Health System. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at