October 28, 2020–In April 2020, the Family Medicine Residency Curriculum Resource, a repository of more than 200 peer-reviewed family medicine curricula, celebrated its 7th anniversary. In September, Mike Tuggy, MD, the driving force behind the development of the resource, completed his final term as senior editor.
“As Dr Tuggy moves on to pursue other leadership opportunities, I thank him on behalf of America’s family medicine residency programs,” said Steven Brown, MD, president of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD). “This resource has moved us toward more consistency in residency education and also significantly reduced redundancies in curriculum development.”
According to Dr Tuggy, the idea for the Residency Curriculum Resource grew out of a project at Swedish Family Medicine Residency, where Dr Tuggy was program director. “Our faculty started building curriculum and uploading it – organized by key topics -- to a shared online space where we could access it and re-use it the following year,” explained Dr Tuggy. “We developed key topic lists to make sure we covered everything that needed to be taught during residency.”
Dr Tuggy presented his program’s work at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Program Director’s Workshop. “It became obvious during the discussion that there was an interest in having all programs work together to create a shared curriculum resource,” he said. “I presented on this for a few years, and the number of people coming to hear about it kept growing. Ultimately, there was a push from members to try to do this as a joint effort.”
It took nearly 2 years of discussions to get the project approved by AFMRD and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). “There were decisions that needed to be made about what it would look like, how much staff time it would take to build it, and how we’d keep the curriculum up to date,” said Dr Tuggy. “And of course we had to decide how much to charge for access. It had to be a small enough amount that programs would subscribe, but big enough to offset costs and contribute to the sustainability of the organizations.”
Hundreds of faculty members at family medicine residency programs now have access to the curriculum. While pleased with the subscription numbers, Dr Tuggy noted that he would like to see more programs contributing to the content, with program directors being more directive with faculty. “I’d like program directors to see this as a way for some of their best faculty to leave a mark. It’s a great goal to create something and share it with the country.”
“I feel gratified that AFMRD and STFM took the gamble to create this,” reflected Dr Tuggy. “I hope it has a long-lasting impact.”