The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) announced its 50-year anniversary as a leading training program for family physicians.

One of the first family medicine education departments in the nation, FMCH began in 1969 as a small division within the Medical School. Originally developed as a response to public outcry for accessible, cost-effective care in rural areas and inner cities, the department has remained committed to that mission over the last half-century. Watch this video to learn more about the FMCH.

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The department now sponsors eight of the 11 family medicine training programs in the state. Since its inception, over 2,000 family medicine doctors have graduated from the department’s residencies, and 70% of them stay in the state to continue providing care to 77% of the state’s counties. Today, FMCH is an internationally renowned department that has graduated more family residents than any other program in the nation.

“We have a rich history of training physicians for the state of Minnesota and also for elevating the academic vitality of the field of family medicine,” says Department Head Jim Pacala, MD, MS. “We are proud to be leaders in training full-spectrum family doctors for the entire state - from the cities to small towns and rural areas in Greater Minnesota.” 

Family physicians are often the first point of contact for patients. Because they play many roles in healthcare - from diagnosing and treating chronic conditions, to providing prenatal care and delivering babies, to performing procedures like ultrasounds and casting - these kinds of doctors tend to develop lifelong relationships with their patients and with the communities in which their patients live.

To find out more information about the department of FMCH and its history, visit

To find a family physician in one of the department of FMCH clinics, visit