Meet Us

About our Program

Our program is devoted to providing an excellent education that prepares physicians for practice in South Dakota and other areas of the mostly rural upper Midwest.

History & Affiliations

The Pierre Rural Family Medicine Residency program was born out of the Governor’s Primary Care Task Force Committee in 2012, with the goal of providing access to primary care for all South Dakotans. This task force was established to evaluate the healthcare needs of the state and ensure the demands of our rural communities are being met. One of the key findings was the need for additional primary care physicians, particularly family medicine, to provide a solid basis of care in our rural pockets of the state.

In an effort of trying to increase the workforce of family medicine physicians, the State of South Dakota has invested considerable resources into programs throughout the state. Their financial support has allowed for the Center for Family Medicine’s development of a second residency program, the Pierre Rural Family Medicine Residency program. The original program, Sioux Falls Family Medicine Residency, was established in 1973 and has graduated over 350 resident physicians, with 75% of these physicians practicing in South Dakota and the contiguous states.

The responsibility of being a part of solving the state’s physician shortage is not something we take lightly, and we are honored to be entrusted with this key task. Currently, data shows that a majority of resident physicians will remain practicing within a 100-mile radius of where they train. With that information, we feel it is our responsibility to not only meet but exceed the healthcare needs of South Dakotans for years to come.

  • University of Sioux Falls - Sanford School of Medicine
  • Avera Health

Residency Objectives

Residency Objectives
  • Training based on competency
  • Emphasize the rural physician perspective
  • Promote lifelong, self-directed learning
  • Promote evidence-based, comprehensive care and disease prevention
  • Care for patients of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of ambulatory and hospital settings

Special Program Focuses

Special Program Focuses
  • Obstetrical training
  • Procedural skills
  • Care of the underserved, including local, global, and refugee populations

We Seek

We Seek
  • To render holistic, preventative, and therapeutic care to people within the context of their families
  • To provide residents with a foundation of knowledge and skills in which to build their future practice in a way that is personally and professionally rewarding

More about our program

Family physicians serve as the primary faculty, and other specialist attendings complement the teaching rotations. The residency faculty oversee the educational and evaluation process of the program. They also coordinate specialty rotations with community and university physicians who are dedicated to teaching residents. The basic three-year curriculum is explained on this website. The program was designed so residents can individually tailor it to meet their needs and interests.

In addition to the required and elective rotations, there is an “in-house” curriculum which consists of daily noon conferences encompassing various disciplines, complemented by other scheduled conferences and journal clubs. These meetings ensure broad exposure to the wide variety of problems encountered in family medicine and give insight to those conditions which are not so common.

The outpatient experience increases as the residents progress through the program and develop a “practice.” The residency is fortunate to have a patient population that spans all age groups and socioeconomic levels. The patients that the residents encounter at the continuity clinic are a true cross-section of the community.