Interests and activities of the faculty in the Michigan State University Department of Family Medicine cover the spectrum of primary care. The department includes a Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and a Program for Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
The department was founded in 1974, with Roy Gerard, MD, as its first chairperson. William C. Wadland, MD, MS, now serves as the department chairperson. The year 2010 was dedicated to a celebration of the department's 35-year history.
The number of MSU College of Human Medicine (CHM) graduates who choose careers in Family Medicine is impressive. In 2002, CHM earned a Gold Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for the school’s outstanding efforts in developing student interest in family medicine and producing graduates who enter the specialty. These awards are based on a three-year average of CHM graduates who entered family medicine residencies.
The success of the department is directly linked to the active role of its residency network. This network encompasses family medicine residency programs in Flint, Grand Blanc, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, Midland, Saginaw, and Traverse City, with a total of 120 faculty members, approximately 194 resident physicians in training, and fellows in Sports Medicine and Geriatrics. These programs, in conjunction with the East Lansing and Grand Rapids campuses, all join in meeting the department’s mission.
As the College of Human Medicine has expanded its community base, especially into the Grand Rapids community, the MSU Department of Family Medicine realized that recognition of the entire non-prefixed faculty and the structure of the department across campuses would be crucial to its departmental mission.
In 2009, work began in Grand Rapids on the concept of remaining a unified, active and visible department under a single chairperson. This new departmental structure included 1) an updated definition of faculty composition, 2) voting privileges to all non-prefixed faculty, regardless of the location of those faculty, 3) changes in the composition of the executive committee of the department, and 4) creation of an associate chairperson position for Grand Rapids. These changes were affirmatively voted upon and enacted in the departmental bylaws in December 2009.