Fourteen Reasons...

...why you should choose the La Crosse-Mayo Family Medicine Residency (LMFMR)

1. Reputation
We are recognized as a great family medicine residency program with excellent residents, faculty, and staff, and a great training experience. Our program has been around since 1976 with very stable leadership – only two directors over all those years along with a good mix of “new” and “old” faculty members.

Residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and we are fully accredited through May 2022.

2. We are the only residency in our facility 
Here you don’t have to “compete” with other residents for the experiences you need. This is a definite plus. Our residents get the experience they need on every rotation and are truly colleagues with our medical staff. Together, we are all part of one great organization - Mayo Clinic. Resident input is encouraged and respected.

3. Our faculty
Our faculty members have a long-term commitment to our residents and the traditions of family medicine education. We have a great mix of age, gender and expertise (geriatrics, sports medicine, women’s health, adolescent medicine, etc.). Our current program director has been here for over 27 years. Among our six family physician faculty and our behavioral scientist, we have well over 100 years of combined teaching experience.

4. Our clinical focus: primary care
High quality primary care has always been the focus of Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) in La Crosse. Family physicians are respected colleagues, they are integrally involved in all aspects of patient care, and many serve in key leadership positions. In fact, our current Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer are both family physicians. Family Physicians are not looked upon as “second class citizens” here, which makes this is a great place to learn family medicine.

5. Program affiliation
We are a community-based, university-affiliated residency program. This means we are housed and managed by our local medical center (Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare), and have an academic affiliation with the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.  Mayo Clinic has an international reputation for excellence in medical education with over 2,400 residents and fellows in training during any given year. The LMFMR truly has the best of both worlds – a small program in a community hospital where family medicine residents have sole domain, while being affiliated with a world-renowned medical center. Your diploma comes from the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, just as any other Mayo-trained resident.

In 2014, Mayo Clinic was recognized as number one among “America’s Best Hospitals” by US News and World Report.  And the literature supports the concept that the quality of one’s clinical environment during training impacts the quality of their practice for the rest of their life.

6. Modern facilities
We have been expanding and remodeling many areas in recent years in order to provide a modern, up-to-date environment for our patients. Current remodeling is being done to provide private rooms for all our patients. Our new emergency, surgical and cancer center spaces are noted most often by staff and patients alike. Mayo Clinic in Rochester even modeled their endoscopy suite after ours. 

7. Our curriculum
Some special features of our curriculum include:

  • Global Health Elective
    This elective is completed in a “block” of 1-8 weeks. Residents choosing this elective are required to participate in additional programming that places an emphasis on international medicine. The program includes: lectures, pre-trip planning and post-trip debriefing, formal presentation, trip reflection such as a blog or a journal and required readings.
  • Hospital Medicine
    We have an excellent in-patient family medicine service that is run by a first, second, and third-year resident, and who are supervised by one of our full-time faculty. We work in tandem with our hospitalist program.
  • Obstetrics
    We offer two options when it comes to obstetrical training. The required curriculum consists of 2 months of obstetrical training in the first year, and combines experience working on labor and delivery along with some continuity obstetrical experiences. For those wishing to further develop their skills and obtain sufficient competence in order to include obstetrics in their future practice, we also offer an enhanced OB curriculum that is designed to assure competence in low-medium risk obstetrics and develop one’s skills in a variety of obstetrical procedures. All faculty (except Dr. Grau) practice OB, and have expertise in breastfeeding, colposcopy, IUDs, endometrial biopsies, and other women’s health procedures. Perinatologists from Mayo Rochester work directly with you on your high-risk patients. Nearly 60 percent of our graduates, especially those in rural areas, include OB in their practices.
  • Pediatrics
    Pediatric experience is offered at MCHS and at Gundersen Health System.  While the Gundersen Health System experience offers a busier inpatient pediatric experience; the outpatient experience is concentrated at MCHS. Additional experience in pediatric subspecialties is also available.
  • Procedures
    Our program offers a Procedure Day session on a monthly basis (third Wednesday of the month) where great procedures are taught in a workshop (hands-on) format. Some procedures you will experience include: exercise stress testing, GYN procedures, (e.g. colposcopy, IUD’s, etc.), endoscopy procedures, vasectomies, paracentesis/thoracentesis, hemorrhoidal banding, wound care, central lines, intubation, joint injections, IV insertions, splinting and casting, newborn circumcision, KOH scraping and slide interpretation. Competency can be achieved in many of these procedures by the end of residency. Procedure Day also contains a segment for resident support and personal/professional development. Two of these are annual events: a canoe outing that includes spouses and families, and a ROPES Challenge course for team-building.
  • Sports Medicine
    We offer a sports medicine elective for interested second and third year residents who wish to enhance their knowledge and skill in this field. There are many local experts in sports medicine and there is an internationally-recognized exercise physiology/human performance program at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse.

8. Great benefits
We provide medical and dental insurance for residents and their families. Other benefits include: free parking, a generous continuing medical education allotment and time, vacation days, practice search days, free health club membership, free ski passes to Mt. La Crosse, a very generous food policy, and an iPad® when you start residency.

9. On-call frequency
We use a “mini” night float rotation the first block to orient new residents to our night float system. We then transition to a night float rotation that covers the remaining 12 blocks of the year. Outside of night float, first-year residents are on duty 8 to 9 Saturdays during their first year; second and third-year residents are on duty 4 to 5 Saturdays.

10. Organized resident activities
Outside the clinic/hospital we organize activities that include all residents, spouses/significant others, and families. These include: Annual Canoe Outing (personal/professional development); Annual Resident Retreat Weekend at Wisconsin Dells; Annual Ropes Course (personal/professional development); Bible Study; Book and Wine Club; Intern Night Out; Resident Get-Together Evening (On Procedure Day); Volleyball.

11. An affordable place to live
Sperling’s® has La Crosse #8 on their list of Small Town Secure Places to Live (2011) and the cost of living is 88% of the national average. Housing options abound within walking distance to the clinic and hospital. Living “out in the country” often yields only a ten-to-fifteen minute commute.

12. A great place to live
La Crosse and the surrounding “coulee region” combine the best of arts, entertainment and nightlife with an emerging emphasis on “silent sports” (hiking, biking, canoeing, etc.)

  • On and in the water – boating on the Mississippi; quiet canoeing on the Black, Root and La Crosse Rivers; trout fishing in dozens of area streams
  • On wheels – nationally-recognized bike trails crisscross the region; our hospital & clinic sponsor a Labor Day Bike Festival that draws casual and serious bikers from across the Midwest
  • On foot – climb the bluffs and follow the ridge tops on our “Human-Powered Trails”
  • In the stands: join 3,000 of your closest friends for a Northwoods League (collegiate) baseball game; in the winter you can switch to Midwest Junior League hockey
  • In the audience: take in performances by the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra or the La Crosse Community Theater; local venues also attract national touring performances of Broadway shows; headline performers and specialty events
  • In the classroom: La Crosse is also home to four diverse educational institutions each recognized for their academic programs (University of Wisconsin – La Crosse; Viterbo University (Catholic Franciscan); Western Technical College and a branch of Globe University)
  • With your (new) friends: Pick a word, add “fest” to it and you will probably find people having a good time nearby (October-, River-, Irish-, Corn-, Butter-, and more)
  • For those times when your interests are a bit more “urban” you can easily fit in day or one-night trips to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, or Chicago.

13. Past graduates
Thirty-four of our graduates loved our area so much they chose to stay here.  You will find our alumni in a variety of practice environments and leadership positions across all ten locations of Franciscan Healthcare. Another 19 of our grads practice in the greater Mayo Clinic Health System, which spans 75 locations throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.  Graduate survey results show their experiences here have made them well-prepared to practice in our ever-changing clinical environment..

14. The future of Family Medicine
…in a word -- “bright.”  Healthcare reform has highlighted the need for more family physicians and their importance in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. The demand for family physicians around the country has sky-rocketed and you will have multiple opportunities for a great position when you complete your training with us.  People know that if you trained in a Mayo program, you are well-trained.