The practice of family medicine is learned through multiple activities. Residents complete mandatory rotations at several institutions, health care delivery settings and systems relevant to the specialty. All are geographically close to the Duke Family Medicine Center, which allows quick returns for continuity clinics at the clinic and continuity community sites.



Inpatient care of adults is learned through the following mandatory rotations:


With a growing number of pediatrics patients at the Duke Family Medicine Center, there are many opportunities to care for children of all ages in an outpatient setting. WakeMed Physicians Pediatrics clinic, a community health system in Raleigh, is the location for the outpatient pediatric rotation. Additionally, inpatient care of children is learned at Duke Children's Hospital in the Full Term Newborn Nursery and the pediatric inpatient service.


Inpatient obstetrics is learned at Duke Regional Hospital.

Emergency Care

Emergency care is learned through rotations at Duke University Hospital’s emergency room, including adult emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine, and at the Durham VA Medical Center's emergency department.

Veterans Administration

The Durham Veterans Administration Hospital (VA), located across from Duke University Hospital, is the location for rotations in inpatient surgery, medical intensive care, and elective inpatient psychiatry.

The following ambulatory rotations are also done at VA clinics:

  • urology, ophthalmology, perioperative surgical consultation, dermatology, psychiatry, addiction disorders, and rheumatology.

Care of the Elderly Adult

The geriatric rotation includes the Memory Disorders Clinic, among other opportunities run by the geriatrics division at Duke and the VA.

Sample Rotation Schedule

Elective Rotations

Electives rotations include a variety of experiences at Duke clinics, as well as state, national and international electives.

State and national rotations include:

International electives include:

  • Cacha Medical Spanish Institute, Ecuador
  • Hospital Arco Iris, La Paz, Bolivia
  • Residencia de Medicina Familiar y General, Rosario in Argentina
  • Family Medicine Residency. American University of Beirut
  • Centre for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Population Health Improvement through Teamwork

Population Health Improvement through Teamwork (PHIT) is a multi-pronged curriculum designed to teach Duke Family Medicine residents the competencies needed to collaborate with and lead population health improvement efforts that can include, but also go beyond, the management of patients in their clinics. The curriculum includes a one-year core course, workshops, quality improvement activities, community health experiences, practice with new models of care, and a longitudinal project; the latter requires that residents use the tools of analysis and community engagement to further a community-based population health improvement initiative. 

Together, the curricular components provide residents with experiences, skills, and knowledge in the four competency domains of population health: public health, community engagement, critical thinking, and teamwork/leadership. Family medicine faculty and students from the Duke University School of Medicine Primary Care Leadership Track, and others participate in portions of the curriculum alongside the residents.