Letter from the Director

Centra Health

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Letter from the Director

Welcome and thank you for considering Centra’s Lynchburg Family Medicine Residency (LFMR) program, located in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Our program has a 44- year history of fulfilling our mission of “Educating Family Physicians through Excellent Patient Care” by providing full-scope family medicine services to our community.  Since its founding, LFMR has produced over 180 board-certified family physicians, of which over 60 percent have stayed in Virginia, and over 40 percent in the regional area.

I graduated from LFMR in 2009; and, I felt well-prepared to enter the world of primary care as a community physician who followed patients of all ages in the outpatient and inpatient settings.  Out of a desire to contribute further to the growth and development of future family physicians, I returned to our program to teach. This program is special to me because the residents, faculty, nurses, and staff are supportive of one another and have truly become like an extended family.     

Lynchburg and central Virginia sit just east of the Blue Ridge Mountain range and offer a host of outdoor activities including running, hiking, camping, fishing, biking, boating, kayaking, and canoeing.  The city of Lynchburg is rich in history and offers a variety of restaurants and cultural events throughout the year.  Newcomers to the area can sample the culture of Lynchburg at “First Fridays” which is a monthly festival-like event in downtown Lynchburg featuring local restaurants, musicians, and artists.  

Our training environment prepares our graduates to be American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) certified family medicine physicians who provide comprehensive primary care to their future communities.  Our residency clinic – Lynchburg Family Medicine Residency Clinic –provides a medical home for patients in central Virginia including maternity care; and, each resident serves as a primary care provider (PCP) for a diverse patient panel during their three years of training.  Our clinic has been the center of practice transformation for our area; providing an excellent training environment for our residents.  In 2014, we were the first NCQA-recognized, Level 3, Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in our area.  In 2018, we became the first clinic in Lynchburg to develop a multidisciplinary care management team that coordinates the skills of our practice-employed social worker with our nurse care navigator, our behavioral health faculty, and various representatives from community resource programs.  This team works with our residents and faculty to increase provider awareness of Lynchburg’s unique social determinants of health and improve our identification of patients with barriers to care.  The care management team works with the patient and PCP to develop a comprehensive care plan that is tailored to each patient’s needs and goals.      

Our residents also provide care to our LFMR patients in the inpatient setting at Centra’s Lynchburg General Hospital (LGH) and Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH).  LFMR residents gain much of their hospital-based training experience at LGH which has 368 licensed beds and is home to the second busiest emergency department in the state.  As a solo residency program at Centra, our residents train with multiple specialists in the area either one-on-one with attendings or in small teams on certain teaching services.  We encourage our residents to develop an interest in teaching, and our residents have multiple opportunities to teach medical students.  The faculty at LFMR bring a broad range of experiences and backgrounds to the program and they are committed to teaching residents how to self-identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to become life-long learners.

This year, we have a renewed focus on provider wellness.  Earlier this year, our residents and faculty rose to the challenge of providing much needed care during the COVID 19 Pandemic in a safe manner.  To ensure our residents are supported, we have proactively adjusted our inpatient schedule to provide a humane schedule that remains rigorous enough to provide ample training opportunities but is consistent with recommendations from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on clinical education and work hours.  We are also focused on reducing administrative tasks and total time spent after hours documenting in the electronic medical record for our faculty and residents. 

Our goal during the recruitment process is to find resident physicians who fit well with our personality as a program.  The residents who excel at our program are those that are hard-working, can embrace change, can be flexible, are team-players, are interested in teaching, can embrace all available training opportunities, and are committed to self-reflection and improvement.  We feel these characteristics are necessary to become an effective family physician.

As you learn more about our program and central Virginia, I hope that you can see the benefits of training in our supportive atmosphere and living in our beautiful community.

Best wishes,
Lori Nelson-Madison, MD
Program Director