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Residents rotate through a longitudinal curriculum divided into 6-week sessions over 36 months.

Each year, they experience two revolutions allowing for repetition and continuity within each educational learning opportunity.

Sessions are divided into four major themes: Acute, Chronic, Preventive, and Individualized. 

Residents rotate through each major session on a team (North, South, East, West) consisting of six residents, two from each PGY level. 


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Longitudinal Aspect Throughout All Sessions

Some aspects of our schedule are longitudinal throughout all sessions. Every week, we have at least one ½ day of continuity clinic, although most weeks we have 3-5 half day sessions, aligning with the Clinics First philosophy. Our continuity patients are cared for between our two clinical sites: Erie HealthReach Waukegan Health Center and Grayslake Outpatient Center. As we progress through the program, the time spent in clinic increases, which allows for continuity as our panel of patients grows.

Every week, we also have one ½ day dedicated to didactic learning. During certain sessions, we also have a ½ day dedicated to resident development. This time is protected from clinical responsibilities to the extent possible.

Additional Highlights of Our Unique Curriculum

Resident Development

Every Friday morning, all residents who are not on an inpatient rotation have protected time to meaningfully engage in non-clinical, foundational, elements of our education:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:  This is woven into everything we do, and dedicated time is given in Resident Development to learn, advocate, and lead initiatives that will advance DEI within the communities we serve.

Community Engagement: This includes volunteering in underserved areas of Lake County, IL.  We have built a free, school-based health center at North Chicago Community High School where we provide sports physicals, mandated health services, behavioral health counseling, and mentorship for the students.

Scholarly Activity: Research is an important component of our education, and having time dedicated for individual and group projects helps us continually advance our work and focus on dissemination at local, regional and national conferences.

Professional Development: We have a wide range of topics, including practice management, leadership, advocacy, contract negotiation, and career opportunities after graduation.

Team-based care: This includes panel management, team QI projects, and population health.

Clinical Scholars Programs

These two-year certificate programs are offered through Northwestern and are available to all McGaw residents of every specialty.  All Lake Forest residents are encouraged to apply, and schedules are protected to allow full engagement in these learning opportunities.  More information can be found at McGaw Clinical Scholars Programs.                    

Procedure Clinic

Program alum and current faculty member Dr. Adiba Khan precepts procedure clinic every Friday afternoon.  Each PGY2 resident is scheduled for a total of 6 weeks.  Longer appointment times are given to allow for hands-on teaching and debriefing.

Gender Pathway Program

Through Northwestern’s Gender Pathway Program, residents provide gender-affirming care to patients seeking hormone treatment. This interprofessional group consists of PCPs and subspecialists from across the Northwestern system and offers comprehensive gender-affirming treatment, including surgical procedures. All residents are encouraged to participate in the GPP. Associate Program Director Dr. Paul Ravenna is an original member of the program, and practices comprehensive LGBTQ+ care in his continuity clinic.

Integrative Medicine

Residents are able to complete the world-renowned certificate program in Integrative Medicine offered through the University of Arizona.  This program is completed virtually and asynchronous, allowing residents to progress at their own pace.  All costs are covered by the residency program. Additionally, residents can put these skills into practice with program alum and faculty member Dr. Anna Shannahan, who completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine and works in Northwestern’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.

Spanish Immersion

Spanish language skills are not required for the Lake Forest program but are important to develop in serving our communities. All residents have their Spanish skills assessed prior to intern orientation. A scaled medical Spanish course is then provided based on skill level. Time is protected throughout the beginning months of residency to allow residents to fully engage in their group classes, promoting team wellness while also preparing them to serve our Spanish-speaking communities.


At Northwestern Family Medicine at Lake Forest, a high priority is put on resident wellness. The Wellness Committee, made up of our own residents and faculty, focus on the social, physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and environmental aspects of staying well. Whether through introspection, empowering our fellow residents, or exploring and supporting our local communities in Lake County, we advocate for our residents to help maintain and improve their physical and mental well-being throughout their training.  Protected time is dedicated to wellness during both Thursday Didactics and Friday Resident Development sessions.

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