Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program

DuluthWe have been training compassionate, skilled family physicians and preparing them to be the foundation of healthy communities for over 40 years.

Most of our residents go on to practice in rural communities with populations of 25,000 or less.

Our clinic is deeply rooted in the surrounding community and serves a socioeconomically diverse patient base. The hospital training sites are regional hubs within walking distance of the clinic.

Duluth is located in northern Minnesota, along the shores of Lake Superior.

Curriculum highlights

  • High volume, high risk OB with c-section training
  • Outstanding adult medicine and pediatrics inpatient experience
  • Ultrasound didactics and training on-site
  • Broad elective opportunities adaptable to resident focus
  • Global Family Medicine

More on curriculum

Apply, benefits, and residency resources

Where we practice

  • Clinic
  • Hospitals
  • Community
  • Clinic

    Duluth Family Medicine Clinic

    See more about Duluth Family Medicine Clinic.

    Some of our features and services

    • Integrated team model, including behavioral health, pharmacists, RNs, and social worker
    • Chronic disease management
    • Support services, with on-site diabetes educators, nutrition services, and coding/billing specialists
    • On-site digital x-ray, ultrasound, COLA-certified moderate complexity lab, and dedicated procedure, colposcopy, and OMT rooms
    • Located within walking distance of both hospitals

    Our patient population

    • 75% adults, 13% seniors, 10% adolescents, 2% infants
    • 40% Medicaid, 30.5% private insurance, 26% Medicare, 3.5% uninsured
  • Hospitals

    Our residents train at two hospitals.

    Essentia Health–St. Mary’s Medical Center

    Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center is the region's largest hospital, featuring:

    • A Level I Trauma Center
    • Multiple ICUs, including the region’s only ICU for newborns and children
    • Multispecialty services

    Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving a population of 460,000 patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho.

    St. Luke's Hospital

    St. Luke's Hospital was the first hospital in the city of Duluth, featuring a Level II Trauma Center and multispecialty services.

  • Community

    Duluth is perfectly positioned between the sparkling blue waters of Lake Superior and one of America’s most spectacular wilderness areas. The city also boasts a comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical community with a physician population of more than 400.

    Favorite Duluth attractions of staff, faculty, and residents:

    Duluth is approximately a 2.5-hour drive north from the Twin Cities.

    Community Outreach

    • Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program hosts the Healthcare and Homelessness Committee, which meets monthly and is a space for healthcare organizations and representatives of community organizations that address an individual's lack of housing and to discuss community issues. Members include representatives of Essentia Health and St. Luke's, Duluth's two large health care systems, as well as the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program, St. Louis County, CHUM, Lutheran Social Services, Life House, and the Bob Tavani Medical Respite House. Among other activities, the committee advises several ongoing projects at the residency program, including our outreach clinic at CHUM – Duluth's primary shelters for unhoused people – and our involvement at the Bob Tavani Respite House.
    • Opportunities to work with a local addiction and dependency organization and to gain Suboxone treatment experience.


Frequently asked questions


Obstetrics is one of our core rotations here in Duluth along with Family Medicine Service, Adult Medicine, and Pediatrics.

Upon graduation our residents can expect to have delivered between 100 and 150 babies; the program also provides a significant amount of high risk obstetrics and the opportunity to collaborate with NICU admissions while on OB and pediatrics.

The clinical portion of the OB/GYN rotation has also been enhanced with more outpatient procedural experience including colposcopy, IUD insertion, and exposure to treatment modalities for precancerous/cancerous cervical lesions.

Lastly, our OB/GYN rotation is service based. This means our resident team covers all patients on the floor. As a result, this improves continuity of care and augments our perinatal management skills greatly. We follow all patients from the minute they are on the floor until they walk out the door. This contributes to a more robust experience because we are doing more than delivering babies—we are managing complex patients with preeclampsia and postpartum complications from door to door.

We believe this holistic approach better prepares our residents for any practice setting they may choose to enter.


Residents can expect to perform 50 to 75 primary cesarean sections during their third year. There are also numerous opportunities to be the first assist during the first two years of residency.


Our critical care experience is both focused and longitudinal.

We admit patients to the ICU throughout our four months of internal medicine, family medicine service, and third year rotations. Additionally, all second-year residents complete a one block critical care rotation where they work directly with the critical care physicians admitting and following patients in the ICU on a daily basis. It is rich in both didactic and procedural experience.

Residents regularly perform procedures including intubations, chest tubes, and central lines. Ultrasound-guided procedures are commonly performed as well. Residents gain experience caring for critically ill patients as well as exposure to toxicology, ventilator management, acid/base disorders, and treatment of sepsis.


We believe that a rural-ready physician is best prepared to practice anywhere. Skills gained in our program can translate to a practice in a town of any size with all doors open to our family physicians. In order to prepare residents for full spectrum practice, we strive to expose you to rural training experiences in block rotation, on outreach, via tele-health, and through preceptors and mentorships.


More than 60% of our graduates chose to practice in Minnesota, with an additional 16% in Wisconsin. Approximately 63% of our graduates practice in communities of 25,000 people or less.


According to the Northland Connection:

The Northland (2010 Census 370,384) has a wealth of highly educated, competent, and motivated people who are eager to put their skills to work. Area companies and organizations boast of the quality workforce, strong work ethic, low turnover, positive labor/management relations and competitive labor costs.

The region's labor pool is fed by outstanding public schools and higher educational facilities that include three universities, a private college, eight community colleges that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Wisconsin Technical College Systems, and a number of specialized vocational schools.

A recent workforce survey reveals that many people live in the Northland to enjoy its high quality of life and have skills beyond their current employment that they would like to utilize.