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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Mobile, AL?

In the small area of southern Alabama along the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile is the port city that sits at the top of Mobile Bay.

What are the demographics of the patient population we serve?

We have a good mix of variety in age, socioeconomic status, race, and insurance coverage.  We have a large number of pediatric patients.  We have a subspecialty clinic in geriatrics.  We have a mix of Caucasian, African American, and Asian patients.  We are primary physicians for a large number of hospital employees (other physicians to housekeeping).  We provide care for uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, blue cross and blue shield, TriCare, and other private insurances.  We also provide care for international merchant marine crews that need medical attention while in Mobile’s port.

What about hurricanes?

Hurricane season is June 1 – November 30.  Mobile itself is somewhat protected by geography since we are inland ~ 1hour compared to the beach.  The hospital provides accommodations for residents.  Our family medicine clinic is open to us and our families and has withstood a category 5 hurricane in the past.  If you are not scheduled to work in the immediate time period of a hurricane, you are able to evacuate if desired.

What “extras” are provided beyond our salary (books, meals, parking, moving, etc)?

On call meals are reimbursed at a rate of $5.00/meal.  Parking is free at all locations.  There is a book stipend within the Family Medicine department, and we get a discount at the medical bookstore.  We are reimbursed for mileage for work travel.  We receive discounted service from a cellular service as hospital employees.  We are provided with embroidered white coats (3 intern year and 1/year each additional year) and scrubs.  An electronic book stipend and access to the Challanger board review course is provided.  Further details regarding insurance and moving reimbursement are available under salary/benefits section.

How does our program compare to university based versus community based programs?

We are officially a university based program, but we enjoy many benefits found within community programs.  We have a small overall number of housestaff in our system.  This allows us little to no competition for patient management and procedures.  Family Medicine residents do almost all of our own procedures and manage our own ICU patients.  We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties.  Although many of our rotations are within the university hospital system, we spend a lot of time working in various clinics, hospitals, and areas within the community.

How well are family practitioners received by other specialties and staff at the hospital?

We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties.  Family Medicine physicians are well respected within our hospital and community.

What is our call schedule?

See section Call Schedule.

How much personal/family life/family time do our resident’s get?

Intern year is traditionally more vigorous, with improvement in your schedule and available free time each subsequent year.  The 80 hour work week is strictly enforced within our institution.  Most months, you enjoy 2-3 weekends free of all responsibilities.

Where do most residents live?

The majority of residents (family practice and other specialties) live in an area of Mobile known as Midtown, that is within a few mile radius of the hospitals and clinic.  Some residents live in west mobile, which is about a 20 minute drive from the hospitals and clinic.  Others live “across the bay” in Spanish Fort, Daphne, or Fairhope which is also about a 20 minute drive.  Housing is affordable on a resident’s salary rather renting or purchasing.

What is the cost of living like in Mobile?

Overall cost of living is very affordable on a resident’s salary.

What are schools like in the Mobile area?

Public and private schools are available in Mobile and “across the bay/Eastern Shore” in Spanish Fort, Daphne, and Fairhope.  The public schools on the Eastern Shore are some of the best public schools in the state of Alabama.

What is Mobile’s proximity to other major cities?

Driving time from Mobile to:

  • New Orleans 2-3 hours
    Atlanta 5-6 hours
    Birmingham 4 hours
    Pensacola 45 minutes-1 hour
    Biloxi 30-45 minutes


Airports available:

  • Mobile, Pensacola, Biloxi

What moonlighting opportunities are available?

Residents are allowed to moonlight after obtaining an Alabama license.   It is not allowed to interfere with regular residency duties.  There are opportunities to moonlight in the emergency room at our Children and Women’s hospital, or in emergency rooms in the community.

How well do residents get along with each other?

Our resident’s are a very cohesive group.  We have “out of hospital” social activities at least once a month, but groups of residents often get together for dinner, movies, trips to the beach, holiday get togethers, birthdays, etc.  We also have a weekend in the spring where our attendings cover the service while all residents go on retreat.

How are resident-faculty interactions?

Our attendings are very approachable and easy going.  They work with us with a vested interest in our learning and well-being.  They are always eager to teach. 

How much OB training is there?

There are two required months on the L&D service, one intern year and one second year.  We have OB continutity patients throughout our 3 years.  If someone has a special interest in OB or plans to incorporate OB in their practice, with or without C-sections, time is available during the 3rd year for elective rotations in OB to increase experience and skills. 

Is research required?

No.

What are our surgery rotations like?

We require 2 months of surgery.  During the intern year, residents work as members of the medical center general surgery service with the surgery residents.  During 2nd year, residents work with a private general surgery group at a community hospital to gain experience with first assisting, and office based pre and post op care.

Do we have resident retreat?

Yes. In the spring of each year, we have a dedicated 2 night weekend to retreat. The retreat is paid for by the FP department.  Our attendings cover the service for the entire weekend.  It is often at an adventure camp, where we stay in a cabin and enjoy resident bonding and fun.

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Department of Family Medicine
University of South Alabama College of Medicine
1504 Springhill Ave, Room 3414
Mobile, AL 36604
Clinic (251) 434-3475 • Residency Office (251) 434-3484 • Fax (251) 434-3495

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USA | FamMed Residency | FamMed Intranet | COM

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