Altru Family Medicine Residency

The Family Medicine program offers outstanding inpatient and outpatient experiences. Residents are supported by Altru’s comprehensive team of skilled providers while their personal patient practices meet or exceed accreditation requirements in all areas providing superior learning opportunities. Support staff are dedicated solely to the Program and computerized records and online dictation complete an outstanding educational environment.

For patient care services, please call 701.780.6800.

Goals & Objectives


To produce family physicians capable of, and dedicated to, meeting the needs of patients in challenging circumstances, with self sufficiency and reliance and commitment to professional growth.


  • An optimal learning environment based on strong ambulatory and inpatient experiences.
  • Clinical curiosity and self-evaluation skills.
  • Attainment of competence in medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism and systems-based practice.
  • Appropriate self-confidence by encouraging autonomy commensurate with development.
  • Strong role modeling from experienced clinicians combining scholarship and substantial practice.


Family physicians enjoy a relationship with patient and family that includes trust and obligation. The most effective possess strong interpersonal and communication skills and their care shows responsibility and professionalism. Effective care requires sound medical knowledge and rigorous clinical logic. Further, since contemporary practice involves complex, systems of health care delivery, experience of systems and resource utilization is fundamental. Finally, since knowledge changes constantly, physicians must be adept at reading scientific literature, be able to separate the good from the bad, and be able to integrate those advances that are genuinely beneficial into daily practice.


The Residency Program, part of Altru Health System, is located 1.2 miles north of Altru's main campus between the university campus and a residential area. It is equipped with 27 exam rooms, conference rooms with multimedia capability, a medical library, lab and x-ray facilities, obstetrical ultrasound, colposcopy, EKG, stress testing and multiple other facilities appropriate to the care of ambulatory patients. Readily available Internet access allows residents to quickly locate relevant information and supports the program's commitment to evidence-based medicine. Each resident has his/her own workspace and is provided with a laptop. There is also direct access to the health system’s computerized medical record for easy access to laboratory results and other data.


    • Stipend - $60,766 per year (fiscal year 2018-2019)
    • Uniforms and laundry are provided
    • On call meals
    • Health insurance coverage for the residents and their families will be provided
    • Malpractice, liability, and disability insurance will be provided
    • Vacation consisting of fifteen working days
    • Medical education leave consisting of five working days
    • Stipend - $63,032 per year (fiscal year 2018-2019)
    • Uniforms and laundry are provided
    • On call meals
    • Health insurance coverage for the residents and their families will be provided
    • Malpractice, liability, and disability insurance will be provided
    • Vacation consisting of fifteen working days
    • Medical education leave consisting of five working days
    • Stipend - $65,197 per year (fiscal year 2018-2019)
    • Uniforms and laundry are provided
    • On call meals
    • Health insurance coverage for the residents and their families will be provided
    • Malpractice, liability, and disability insurance will be provided
    • Vacation consisting of fifteen working days
    • Medical education leave consisting of five working days



Interested medical students are encouraged to consider an elective in family practice in the program. Students serve at an intern level and assume patient care responsibilities with the Family Practice Teaching Services as well as participate in office visits at the Center. Electives are also available in Obstetrics and Sports Medicine.


If you have questions about the program or admission requirements, please contact Dr. Nielsen, Program Director, or Kelsey Huttunen, Residency Coordinator at:

Mailing Address:

Altru Family Medicine Residency
725 Hamline Street Grand Forks, ND 58203
Phone: 701.780.6810
Fax: 701.780.6817

A. Marc Nielsen, MD
Program Director

Kelsey Huttunen

Kelsey Huttunen
Residency Coordinator

Sports Medicine

The sports medicine program was developed in the early 80s to improve residents’ joint and extremity assessment skills.

The University already had a strong collegiate athletic presence with NCAA I and II national titles. This made it possible to develop a relationship with the athletic department as a result of which the residency program supplied team service to the major sports while the University athletes provided a learning laboratory for the residents.

Based on the success of this collaboration, an approved curriculum in athletic training was developed into a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training housed in the School of Medicine. This unique program has been described frequently as a model for athletic training, and the family medicine residents are afforded a unique learning opportunity if they so wish. The faculty now includes MD faculty from the residency program, athletic trainers and physical therapists from the division of sports medicine's 'Center for Sports Medicine.'

Residents fulfill all requirements of the Residency Review Committee in sports medicine education including didactic content and the performance of pre-participation examinations. Each year, the program performs 500 collegiate athletic and 300 high school athletic pre-participation exams. Residents perform the majority of these evaluations under the supervision of residency faculty. The didactic component is provided by the delivery of core content jointly to the athletic training students and residents during monthly sports medicine lectures.

A small number of residents are given the opportunity to acquire additional training by team service. Such service is always provided for football, men's hockey and men and women's basketball. With specific resident interest, it may also be provided for women's soccer and volleyball. The residents attend all home games and provide immediate sports medicine services for the teams and athletes. On-site faculty backup is present.

Although several graduates have entered fellowships in sports medicine, it is not our goal to develop musculoskeletal specialists. On the contrary, sports medicine at the residency program is regarded as the primary care of the athlete, including the care of exercise-induced asthma, evaluation of murmurs, treatment of common infectious disease, and recognition and support of mood disorders. In short, comprehensive family medicine within a specially defined population is emphasized. As such, the sports medicine component is concordant with the goals of the residency program and the skills gained as applicable to practice in a small community as to a specialized setting in a large community.

OB Fellowship

Since the beginning of the residency in 1977, the residents have regarded obstetrics as a particularly strong experience. Initially, as a 4-4-4 program, the responsibilities of 24-hour coverage were shared with the medical school's obstetric residency program. Eventually though, that program closed, the Mayo Clinic continued to send residents from their Family Medicine Residency Program to augment their obstetrical training. In time, Mayo's residents were replaced with residents from the Fargo Family Medicine Program. Grand Forks will still accept outside residents but as we now have an 8-8-8 program, call coverage is sufficient without external residents.

Always, the driving force has been the community's obstetricians' and family physicians' enthusiasm for teaching coupled with a strong patient base. Outstanding obstetric skills continue to be provided to our own residents as well as to residents from other programs who wish to pursue an elective OB rotation in Grand Forks.

An enthusiastic and outstanding teaching environment, coupled with the unique needs of a rural population, seemed a natural fit and a year-long fellowship in Obstetrics evolved.

Basic Goals:

  • Management of general labor and delivery patients
  • Triage of obstetric patients
  • Management of High-Risk OB patients
  • Competence in the surgical management of obstetric patients, including cesarean sections and tubal ligations

Goals within the anesthesia component include:

  • Preoperative assessment of the labor patient and fetus
  • Appropriate resuscitative equipment and drugs
  • Pain management options for the laboring patient, risks and benefits of individual anesthesia choices
  • Complications and management of anesthesia procedures
  • Emphasis of current anesthesia guidelines and recommendations
  • Post-anesthesia care
  • Resuscitation of the labor patient and infant

Additional Goals:

  • Recognition of special needs infants, appropriate genetic testing and follow up
  • Diagnosis and step management of infertility
  • Competence in office Ultrasound for obstetric patients
  • General understanding of liability issues in providing obstetric care

Sports Medicine Fellowship

Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports medicine physicians must recognize that the care of the athlete is multifactorial including general medical illness, psychology of sports, and sports-related injuries. Family Physicians who have a strong foundation in primary care are in an ideal position to provide the multifaceted care required by an athlete. These physicians recognize that sports medicine is more than just treatment and prevention of injuries, but rather comprehensive primary care of the athlete.

The mission of the Altru Sports Medicine Fellowship is to train physicians with a strong foundation in Family Medicine and allow them to enhance their musculoskeletal skill set to provide care for athletes. The Fellowship does not desire to train physicians who will practice non-operative orthopedics, rather to provide comprehensive care to athletes of all ages.

Fellows are given a special opportunity to develop their skills working with Division 1 athletes at the University of North Dakota. Fellows will have opportunities to further develop their skills through local high schools, community mass participation events, and involvement in the Department of Sports Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UNDSMHS). The Sports Medicine Fellowship will augment the training of residents at Altru Family Medicine Residency. Fellows will recognize that they are part of a team including specialty physicians and surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches, psychologists and other personnel who comprehensively provide care for an athlete.

For the benefit of fellows and athletes, multiple disciplines will be utilized to provide a diverse training environment. Altru Family Medicine Residency, UNDSMHS Department of Sports Medicine, UND Athletic Department, Altru Advanced Orthopedics, Valley Bone and Joint, and Assessment Therapy and Associates provide an assortment of experiences for fellows to strengthen their skills to provide primary care for the athlete. All involved parties recognize that each discipline brings unique opportunities for fellows to learn and will bring forward energies and talent unrestricted or impeded by clinic or organizational background, and united by the common purpose of education, service, research and development.

For additional information, contact:

Wanda Cary
Sports Medicine Fellowship Coordinator
725 Hamline Street
Grand Forks ND 58203

Family Medicine Residency Handbook

Sports Medicine Fellowship Handbook