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Academic years are scheduled into 13 block rotations, each 28 days in length. Over the three years of residency training, residents are guaranteed a minimum of four blocks of elective time along with the required training rotations listed below.

First Year

First year of residency has no elective rotations and provides a broad base upon which to build a future practice. In-house call is approximately one in four. First year residents maintain a continuity outpatient clinic of 1-2 half days per week.

  • Orientation – 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics – 8 weeks
  • Inpatient Teaching Service – 12 weeks
  • Pediatrics (Inpatient and Outpatient) – 8 weeks
  • Behavioral Science – 4 weeks
  • Surgery – 4 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Orthopedics – 4 weeks
  • Ear, Nose, Throat – 2 weeks
  • Ophthalmology – 2 weeks
  • Click here to view a sample first year rotation schedule

Second Year

Second year of residency continues to develop experience and provides opportunities for electives. Second year residents maintain a continuity outpatient clinic of 3-4 half days per week.

  • Inpatient Teaching Service – 16 weeks
  • Obstetrics – 8 weeks
  • Cardiology – 4 weeks
  • Orthopedics – 4 weeks
  • Critical Care – 4 weeks
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – 4 weeks
  • Emergency Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Nursing Home – 2 weeks
  • Radiology – 2 weeks
  • Outpatient Pediatrics (Grand Forks Air Force Base) – 4 weeks
  • Click here to view a sample second year rotation schedule

Third Year

Third year of residency includes ample time for electives. Each resident acts as chief resident for six to eight weeks. Third year residents maintain a continuity outpatient clinic of 4-5 half days per week.

  • Chief Resident – 6 or 8 weeks
  • Dermatology – 4 weeks
  • Neurology – 4 weeks
  • Community Health/Home Visits – 6 or 8 weeks
  • Devils Lake (Rural Rotation) – 4 weeks
  • Obstetrics – 4 weeks
  • Nursing Home – 2 weeks
  • Urology – 2 weeks
  • Electives – 16 weeks
  • Click here to view a sample third year rotation schedule

For rotation descriptions, goals, and objectives, please see the Rotation Description Manual.


Throughout the three years of residency, residents are given the opportunity to select at least four blocks of electives of their choice. Elective rotations are an opportunity for residents to shape their education to match their future community and practice needs. Residents are encouraged to selective any available elective rotations and may request a new elective rotation, as long as goals and objectives are created and approved by the faculty.

Electives include, but are not limited to:

  • Ultrasound
  • Procedures
  • Infectious Disease
  • Sports Medicine
  • Palliative Care
  • Endocrinology
  • Nephrology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Anesthesiology


Residents build and maintain a continuity of patients at one central clinic location in Grand Forks, approximately one mile north of Altru Hospital. Each resident has their own workspace, including desk, computer and phone, at the clinic. All faculty members, including behavioral health and pharmacist, have offices at the clinic and are available to precept while residents have patients in clinic.

At the beginning of residency, resident’s patients are scheduled in 60-minute intervals, decreasing to 40-minutes after six months of training. Second-year decreases to 30-minute appointment intervals and third-year residents to 20-minute appointment intervals.


Conferences are held at noon four days of the week to provide didactic learning experiences in the broad range of family practice. Lectures are presented by faculty, community physicians, residents, and other experts in their field. Lunch is catered at all noon conferences.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics
  • Perinatal
  • Journal Club
  • Gynecology
  • Ethics
  • Sports Medicine
  • Psychiatry/Wellness
  • Ultrasound
  • Root-Cause Analysis and Apparent Cause Analysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Safety Forum
  • Practice Management
  • Pediatrics

Resident Education

One afternoon each month is devoted to resident education, providing an opportunity to devote more time to in-depth study of various topics and procedures. Often this includes workshops covering casting and splinting, colposcopy, or methods of musculoskeletal assessment.

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