Eight New Physicians to Become the Inaugural Class of the McGaw Family Medicine Residency at Lake Forest
By John HustonNews April 06, 2015
"It's an exciting day," said Deborah S. Clements, MD, FAAFP, director of the new residency program. In addition to helping build a new program from scratch, she also helped sift through that pile of applications to whittle them down to nearly 90 candidates who came in for an interview and site visit.
"It's almost like the pregnancy test came up positive," Clements joked of Match Day. "Now it's real. Now we really have these people coming. We know them on paper, we know them a little bit in person from the interview, but it's such an amazing experience to be a part of their maturation as physicians and leaders."
The eight members of the inaugural class come from a diverse background — they represent a variety of medical and undergraduate schools, including one from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, several speak multiple languages (one was born in Russia while another was born in South America) and they list a wide range of personal interests and experiences. Residents will see patients at both the Erie HealthReach Waukegan Health Center, a federally qualified health center with strong Northwestern Medicine ties, and the Northwestern Medical Group in Grayslake, Ill.
"It's an amazing group," Clements said. "We're so impressed with the ability of candidates that we got for a new program. To be the inaugural class means that they're going to be working one on one with their attending physicians in the way most residents don't."
It was also a unique situation when the candidates came to interview with faculty, staff, administrative leaders and members of the community. At many institutions, it is tradition for a current resident to take a prospective resident out for dinner the night before. Since there are no current residents, Clements hosted the candidates, as well as selected faculty, for dinner at her home. All 90 candidates were split among 14 weekends last fall. It made for a busy schedule in the Clements house, but it gave the candidates a way to meet the program leaders and relax. "It brought some real collegiality to the process and helped calm the nerves a little bit," she said.
The inaugural class will begin orientation June 23 and begin clinical work July 6. When that day comes, it will be the culmination of four years'-worth of planning, Clements said.
"It takes enormous effort to put a new program together, but we couldn't have asked for a better team or better partners," Clements said. "We're off and running."