Maine Medical Center
group photo of the family medicine residents outside by the ocean, boats are anchored behind them


As an academic residency program, the Department of Family Medicine at MMC has an infrastructure and culture that supports and encourages resident participation in scholarly inquiry and research. Our success in scholarly work has been well-represented by our faculty and residents in publications and in posters and lectures at local, regional, and national conferences, both in family medicine and its specialties.

All residency programs require their family medicine residents to participate in a scholarly project over their three years in training. This project can take one of three forms:

Primary Research – Recent examples include “False Reporting on Sports Medicine Fellowship Applications” and “Utilization of Prescription Opioids Among Adolescents in Maine.

Quality Improvement – Residents select an area of interest either inpatient or outpatient, perform Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, and collect and present data on their findings.

Community Based – Residents can choose among various community-based initiatives or create one of their own, help implement the program, and report on the findings. Multiple residents have worked on a 2:1 food voucher program, in which $2 of locally-sourced produce can be purchased with $1 of WIC or SNAP food stamps.

Project support is provided by the Director of Research, Dr. Christina Holt, and the Research Navigator, Amy Haskins, PhD, who assist in discovering ideas and developing plans. Other ways in which scholarly work is incorporated into residency training include:

Journal Club – Each third year resident leads a discussion and literature review on a PICO (Patient-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome) question that has meaning in the primary care setting.

Patient Safety and Quality Conference – Each third year resident presents a case in the format of a morbidity and mortality conference; usually, the patient’s outcome was suboptimal. A discussion then occurs to find ways to improve systems issues or clinical reasoning.

Quality Improvement Projects – As a PCMH, our program is constantly engaged in QI projects to improve the patient care in our clinics. The major project all residents are part of is the Clinical Improvement Registry, in which residents receive quarterly quality metrics for diabetes, coronary heart disease, and asthma, and work to improve their patient care based on these results.