A family systems curriculum: Back to the future?

Rebekah Schiefer, Alexandra Verdieck Devlaeminck, Holly Hofkamp, Sheldon Levy, Demetrio Sanchez, John Muench

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although both residents and teaching faculty endorse its value, a recent review of family medicine residency programs confirms minimal formal family systems theory training. We consider the historical context of family systems training in family medicine and other competing priorities in practice and residency curricula. METHODS: We developed a longitudinal family systems curriculum, delivered in the third year of a 4-year residency program, and evaluated 2 years of the program using scales to assess self-reported confidence, knowledge and skills. RESULTS: Our curriculum evaluation showed significant improvement in all self-rating scales for all resident participants. CONCLUSIONS: We concluded the curriculum was successful in generating greater appreciation of family systems thinking and increased self-reported knowledge and skills for intervening and supporting families in the clinical setting. Further study is needed to evaluate change in clinical practice and whether these changes will be sustainable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-562
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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