Like so many businesses and organizations along the West Broadway corridor, it’s both unassuming and strikingly exceptional and a place run by passionate, highly capable people that love what they do.
The state-of-the-art clinic on West Broadway is made special by a diverse team committed to the interconnected goals of providing quality medical care to the community and training the nation’s next generation of urban-based family doctors.
As the home to a University of Minnesota family medicine residency training program, BFM’s clinicians include 18 faculty doctors and 30 residents participating in a three year program. It’s important to note that the residents aren’t students, but medical doctors that have finished medical school and chosen to specialize in family medicine. Resident physicians receive additional training under the guidance of the clinic’s faculty doctors so that they can qualify to take their board exams. The BFM’s program is one of the best of its kind in the country. Each year, 140 doctors from all over the country interview for a chance at 10 resident slots.
Family medicine as a specialty aims to provide continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family, emphasizing prevention and wellness and a knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community. Unlike many other clinics, BFM’s work is not limited to the clinic’s walls; it is associated with North Memorial Hospital, where BFM doctors follow their patients to deliver babies and provide other medical care to patients in hospital.
Dr. Michael Wootten, the clinic’s Program Director, has been at BFM for 18 years. Wootten oversees the resident training, and he also has what is known as a panel of patients that he sees consistently. In his opinion, being a residency training program with the University of Minnesota allows BFM to provide the absolute best care to its patients.
“For patients, you have these young, energetic, very intelligent people that are right at the crest of the wave of medical care, and then you have all of us old hats in the background watching over them,” said Wootten.
According to the director, medicine as a field is constantly evolving and advancing, and the newest doctors bring the most current knowledge. A patient’s care is commonly informed by at least two opinions; for Wootten, that combination of senior experience and fresh perspective means, “good problem solving.”
The desire to be in an environment that values learning, community and teamwork is shared throughout the clinic.
“I really do learn something new every day. In one sense or another we are all educators and we learn from each other, and we give that back to our patients,” said BFM nursing manager Pamela Winter, RN.
Monica Stalling, who lives in the same neighborhood as the clinic, has worked there as a medical assistant since 1999.
“I love it. I love my coworkers because we’re such a close-knit family. I like that we watch patients grow up. It’s nice to live in the community and then help the community. People know me on the street and say, ‘Hey, that’s my nurse,’” Stalling relates with a smile.
Though there is yearly turnover for resident physicians, Stalling thinks her patients feel at home at BFM because of the continuity of the rest of the clinic staff. She explains, “It’s nice for them to come in and see a familiar face. They walk in and know (the usual person) will be there to greet them, they know I’m going to be there.” When a resident physician finishes the program, Stalling is there to introduce his or her patients to their new doctor and reassure them that they’ll, still get the same care they got with the former doctor.
Another long-serving staff member is Northsider, Linda Davis, a patient representative who has been with BFM for 16 years. She can be found at the front desk or working the phones in a side room.
“I do a lot of things actually. I am the workers compensation and motor vehicle specialist for the clinic. I collect insurance information or help people apply for insurance,” said Davis. She and her coworkers also rotate a post called patient advocacy, helping patients navigate through the healthcare maze, as well as connecting them to other community resources.
Davis is not shy about the fact that she loves what she does and feels good about it every day. She’s been working at BFM so long that she’s developed a relationship with many patients; she greets them by their names and is there to reassure them when there’s a wait. When training new coworkers, Davis emphasizes that the patient experience, “starts at the front, and then it moves on through the clinic. Communication is key here.”
It’s not hard to understand how Davis’ above and beyond efforts help to build patients’ confidence in their healthcare provider, making them more likely to seek out and better respond to the care they need.
Dr. Tria Lor is unique in that he is a resident physician and North Minneapolis native.
“I grew up in the area, thus it is great working in my community. I also enjoy the relationships that I have with the staff, most of whom are from the community,” said Lor. “I am Hmong and fluent and thus able to care for many of the clinic's Hmong speaking patients, especially the elderly.”
He feels that he and other residents are essential to the clinic because, “we are eager to care for patients, be a part of patients' lives, and to learn and change things for the better.”
BFM saw 8,500 patients last year, half of them from the 55411 zip code.
BFM is also a state certified medical home, which means it offers additional services in an effort to counteract the fragmentation in healthcare and create a place where the patient belongs, especially for patients that have complicated illnesses that require specialists. The clinic employs bilingual care coordinators that assist patients with administrative issues and offer support between office visits. The clinic also has a patient advisory committee, where patients provide feedback on programs and the general state of care. The committee meets every other month and is always looking for more patients to serve.
For these and many more reasons, Broadway Family Medicine is an outstanding neighborhood clinic, one with deep local roots and nationally-recognized credentials. As Program Director Wootten said, it’s a clinic that, “wants to be aware of what’s going on in the community, what resources there are, and we want to be one of those important resources.”
University of Minnesota Physicians
Broadway Family Medicine Clinic
1020 West Broadway
Minneapolis, MN 55411
612-302-8200 (phones answered 24 hours)
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.