Family Medicine Residency

Family Medicine Residency Header

The family medicine residency program at Spectrum Health, in partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, is a three-year program with six positions available each year. As part of their training our residents work in both urban and rural hospitals and outpatient clinics. As family physicians, we take care of the community we live in and we commit to tailoring our practice to the needs of the community. Without us, most underserved populations would lack access to primary care.

From the Program Director

Welcome to the website for the family medicine residency program at Spectrum Health, in partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. I would like to highlight a few aspects of our program which I feel are truly unique.

In our program we have residents rotate in both urban and rural settings allowing residents to experience both clinical teaching environments. This prepares them to practice in either setting upon graduation.  The urban setting is in Grand Rapids where they rotate on teams with other residency programs throughout a large, urban hospital caring for children and adults with many other specialties available for consultation. The rural setting is at United Hospital, a small rural hospital in Greenville, Michigan. Residents may have their continuity clinic at either the urban or rural location. We love to say that our residents get to experience the “best of both worlds”.

Another highlight is our close affiliation with Michigan State University. This provides us with access to academic research and education resources usually not available to smaller community programs. It is also a great opportunity for residents to develop leadership skills while working with medical students.

Our program is relatively new, having accepted our first class in 2018. We designed our program from the ground up. To help address the continually changing needs in medical system we tried to maximize the number of electives our residents have available to them, allowing them to choose what direction to steer their own education.

Another strength of our program is the emphasis on teaching wellness and preventative medicine. One way we have done this is through the integration of the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum into our program, allowing all residents to get an additional board certification in lifestyle medicine upon graduation.

During our didactics we also incorporate Culinary Medicine.  Residents really enjoy this hands-on cooking experience in which they explore the medical aspects of various disease processes using a nutrition case, while cooking together.  No-one seems to mind eating the results at the end of those sessions!  We teach residents how to incorporate wellness and healthy habits into their own lives so that they can be role models for their patients and communities as they move into future practice.  In other words, we try to practice what we preach!

I encourage you to explore our website, and more importantly come visit us in person or virtually during interview season.

Robin O’Meara, MD, Vaccine Science Fellow-AAFP
Family Medicine Residency Program Director
Spectrum Health/ Michigan State University Family Medicine Residency

The mission of Spectrum Health and our residency program is to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. To live this mission, we need strong primary care doctors who take care of patients from all walks of life, no matter where they live, from patients in downtown Grand Rapids, the second largest city in the state, to patients in rural farming and tourist communities. Therefore, when designing this residency program, we sought to address this need by training residents who could comfortably practice in both urban and rural settings.

The structure of our program has residents rotating at two main Spectrum Health locations—Butterworth Hospital and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids and Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville. For size comparison Butterworth Hospital has 634 beds and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has 234 beds, while United Hospital has 42 beds.

In addition, there are two outpatient continuity clinic sites, adjacent to each hospital in both Grand Rapids and Greenville. The Grand Rapids continuity clinic is an urban clinic with most residents from Grand Rapids and includes a large immigrant population. The United Hospital clinic is a certified rural health center with most patients from the Greenville area. The ability for residents to rotate at both sites truly allows them to experience urban and rural medicine while at a single program.

Our program is a medium-sized, university-affiliated community program with six residents accepted per year, for a total of 18 residents. Spectrum Health has more than 380 residents and fellows in 33 ACGME-accredited programs. This large medical education system allows us to receive strong support for our residency program by providing medical education initiatives systemwide in resident wellness, diversity and research.

Our goal is to provide excellent and comprehensive patient centered care by focusing on the continuous search for knowledge, the health of the communities we serve, and the well-being of the patients, their families and ourselves.

Program Aims
  1. Positively affect the health of the communities we serve by creating future family physicians who are leaders in their communities
  2. Provide high quality care for our underserved populations in West Michigan
  3. Achieve strong, well-rounded academics balanced with a positive, supportive learning environment
Clinical Environment
Residents will be working in both an urban and rural setting, with rotations at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Spectrum Health United Hospital. The majority of the rotations will be at the rural community location, Spectrum Health United Hospital.

Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital
  • Longstanding reputation of excellence in care, diagnostics, treatment, prevention and education
  • Offers a wide range of advanced medical, surgical and specialty care services
  • Major tertiary and quaternary referral center for West Michigan and beyond
  • The only regional burn center and level 1 trauma center in West Michigan
  • Clinical leader in cardiovascular, cancer, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, neurosciences, trauma and emergency care services, among many others.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Referral center for 37 Michigan counties
  • More than 150 physicians in 50 pediatric specialties
  • More than 8,300 inpatient admissions annually
  • More than 190,000 outpatient visits annually
  • More than 50,000 pediatric emergency department visits annually and Level 1 trauma center with pediatric surgeons available 24/7

Spectrum Health United Hospital 
  • 49 acute-care beds and 39 long-term-care beds
  • Walk-In clinic
  • Heart and vascular care
  • Radiology services
  • Respiratory care
  • Sleep wellness
  • Wound care
First Year
Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital:
  • Internal medicine: Four weeks
  • Medical intensive care unit: Four weeks
  • Obstetrics: Four weeks
  • Pediatrics: Eight weeks

Spectrum Health United Hospital:
  • Inpatient family medicine: Eight weeks
  • Surgery: Four weeks
  • Obstetrics/newborn nursery: Four weeks
Outpatient Rotations:
  • Orientation: Four weeks
  • Orthopedics/sports medicine: Four weeks
  • Population health: Four weeks
  • Radiology, research: Four weeks (two half days per week spent on research)

Second Year
Spectrum Health United Hospital:
  • Inpatient family medicine: Eight weeks
  • Emergency medicine: Eight weeks
  • Obstetrics/newborn nursery: Four weeks
  • Elective: 12 weeks (one half day per week spent on research)**

Outpatient Rotations:
  • Family medicine orientation: Four weeks
  • Gynecology: Four weeks
  • Ambulatory pediatrics: Four weeks
  • Surgical specialty longitudinal: Eight weeks - rotating through otolaryngology, ophthalmology, general surgery clinics, urology and dermatology

Third Year
Spectrum Health United Hospital:
  • Emergency medicine: Four weeks
  • Inpatient family medicine: Four weeks
  • Electives: 12 weeks (one half day per week spent on research) **

Outpatient Rotations:
  • Family medicine orientation: Four weeks
  • Family Medicine Health Center: Four weeks 
  • Geriatrics: Four weeks
  • Behavioral medicine longitudinal: Eight weeks - residents will spend time on inpatient psychiatry, outpatient and children’s psychiatry, addiction medicine pain management, and neurodevelopmental pediatrics
  • Medical specialty longitudinal: Eight weeks - residents will rotate with neurology, cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and endocrinology
  • Orthopedics/sports medicine: Four weeks
** Possible electives: acute/urgent care, addiction medicine, advanced obstetrics, allergy, anesthesia, cardiology, critical care, dermatology-adult or pediatric, endocrinology-adult or pediatric, faculty development/junior precepting, gastroenterology-adult or pediatric, general surgery, geriatrics, global medicine, health systems management/practice management, hematology/oncology-adult or pediatric, hospice & palliative medicine, infectious disease-adult or pediatric, nephrology, neurology-adult or pediatric, neurosurgery, NICU/advanced pediatrics, pain management, parental elective, physical medicine & rehabilitation, plastic surgery, podiatry, pulmonary medicine –adult or pediatric, research, rheumatology, rural medicine, residents may design an elective in coordination with their advisor.

Continuity Clinics
First year:  Residents will spend one half day per week in their continuity clinic while on inpatient rotations and up to four half days per week while on outpatient rotations. Residents will rotate in the nursing home every other month.

Second year:  Residents will spend a minimum of one half day per week in their continuity clinic and on most rotations four half days per week will be in the clinic. Residents will rotate in the nursing home every other month.

Third year:  Residents will spend between one and six half days per week in their continuity clinic. Residents will rotate in the nursing home every other month.

Per class there will be three residents who will have clinic at the Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital clinic and three residents who will have their clinic at the Spectrum Health United Hospital clinic.
The Lifestyle Medicine Specialty practice at Spectrum Health opened in 2020 as a commitment to the mission of Spectrum Health; to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. The practice empowers people to replace unhealthy behaviors with positive ones to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease.  It is led by physicians certified in lifestyle medicine through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and provides an active learning environment for residents involved in the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum. 

Patient care and resident education is provided on-site in the Lifestyle Medicine practice's state-of-the-art teaching kitchen clinic and via telehealth visits.  Core programs include culinary medicine, intensive therapeutic lifestyle change (ITLC) programs, tobacco and nicotine cessation and health coaching.  The integration of the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum within the family medicine residency program  provides a unique opportunity for residents to learn and apply lifestyle-first approaches to care of patients in both rural and urban communities. This also allows residents to get an additional board certification in lifestyle medicine upon graduation.

Kristi Artz MD, Medical Director of Lifestyle Medicine, and Nicholas Stephanoff, MD work collaboratively with residency program directors to implement the LMRC at Spectrum Health.  Drs. Artz and Stephanoff are members of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and grateful for the opportunity to participate in lifestyle medicine education as the foundation of true healthcare.
Thank you for interest in our program. The following criteria is required for application to the family medicine residency program. For more information on our program, please contact our program coordinator Toni Wells
  • All applicants must participant in the National Resident Matching Program. Our code is: 2077120C1. All applications will be accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service.
  • All candidates must possess U.S. work authorization or be eligible for J-1 status
  • Must have strong communication skills.
  • Graduation from medical school should be within three years or you should be recently clinically active in the practice of medicine. Research time and observerships do not qualify as clinical involvement.
  • We require three letters of recommendation plus a dean’s letter.
  • Applicants must be eligible to be licensed in all 50 states and United States territories as demonstrated by: graduation from a Liaison Committee on Medical Education fully-accredited medical school or graduation from an American Osteopathic Association/Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation fully-accredited medical school.

Information for international medical graduates
  • A valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certification for rank by February 1.
  • Applicants must have received all their medical school education from and graduated from a medical school recognized or approved by the Medical Board of California. The medical school’s name must exactly match the name on the board’s list of recognized medical schools.

Candidates should aim for the recommended minimum scores as outlined below, preferably on first attempt.
  • USMLE Step 1: 200
  • USMLE Step 2 CK: 217
  • COMLEX 1/2: 415/420
  • USMLE Step 2 CS/COMLEX Level 2 PE: Pass on first attempt
  • All scores in prior to February 1

Visiting Learners
All visiting medical student applications must be submitted through the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program (formerly known as VSAS). For more information on visiting medical student opportunities, please visit our Visiting Learner page. We do accept MS4 electives for current medical students. We do not offer observerships or externships.

The Minority Visiting Scholars Program (MVSP) is sponsored by the Spectrum Health Office of Medical Education. The mission of the MVSP is to enrich medical education, advance research and strengthen our clinical practices by fostering a culture of inclusion. For more information on the Minority Visiting Scholars Program, click here. MVSP provides mentoring and networking for fourth year and qualified third/fourth year medical students Available for students in underrepresented in medicine, such as racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQI-identified or gender nonconforming individuals, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with special needs.
Spectrum Health provides a comprehensive and very competitive benefits package for our residents, staff and their families. In addition, our program provides educational monies to support your ongoing education. Download our salary and benefits document to learn more.

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