Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Mobile, Alabama?
Mobile is situated in the small area of southern Alabama along the Gulf of Mexico. Mobile is the port city that sits at the top of Mobile Bay.
What are the demographics of the patient population we serve?
We have a good mix of variety in age, socioeconomic status, race, and insurance coverage. We have a large number of pediatric patients. We have a mix of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian patients. We are primary physicians for a large number of hospital employees (ranging from fellow physicians to housekeeping). We provide care for uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, BCBS, TriCare, and other private insurances. We also provide care for international merchant marine crews that need medical attention while in Mobile’s port.
What about hurricanes?
Hurricane season lasts June 1 to November 30. Mobile itself is somewhat protected by geography since we are inland ~ 1hour compared to the beaches. The hospital provides accommodations for residents during times of Hurricanes. Our family medicine clinic is open to all of our faculty, staff, and residents and their families. Our building has withstood a category 5 hurricane in the past. If you are not scheduled to work in the immediate time period of a hurricane, you are able to evacuate if desired.
What “extras” are provided beyond our salary (books, meals, parking, moving, etc)?
On call meals are reimbursed at a rate of $5.00/meal. Parking is free at all locations. There is a book stipend within the Family Medicine department, and we get a discount at the medical bookstore. We are reimbursed for mileage for work travel. We receive discounted service from a cellular service as hospital employees. We are provided with embroidered white coats (3 intern year and 1/year each additional year) and scrubs. An electronic book stipend and access to the Challenger board review course is provided. Further details regarding insurance and moving reimbursement are available under salary/benefits section.
How does our program compare to university-based versus community-based programs?
We are officially a university-based program, but we enjoy many benefits found within community programs. We have a small overall number of housestaff in our system. This allows us little to no competition for patient management and procedures. Family Medicine residents do almost all of our own procedures and manage our own ICU patients. We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties. Although many of our rotations are within the university hospital system, we spend a lot of time working in various clinics, hospitals, and areas within the community.
How well are family practitioners received by other specialties and staff at the hospital?
We know almost all housestaff personally and create good friendships with residents in all specialties. Family Medicine physicians are well respected within our hospital and community.
What is our call schedule?
See section Call Schedule.
How much personal/family life/family time do our resident’s get?
Intern year is traditionally more vigorous, with improvement in your schedule and available free time each subsequent year. The 80 hour work week is strictly enforced within our institution. Most months, you enjoy 2-3 weekends free of all responsibilities.
Where do most residents live?
The majority of residents (family practice and other specialties) live in an area of Mobile known as Midtown, located within a few mile radius of the hospitals and clinic. Some residents live in west mobile, which is about a 20 minute drive from the hospitals and clinic. Others live “across the bay” in Spanish Fort, Daphne, or Fairhope (all located in Baldwin County), which is also about a 20 minute drive. Housing is affordable on a resident’s salary whether renting or purchasing.
What is the cost of living like in Mobile?
Overall cost of living is very affordable on a resident’s salary.
What are schools like in the Mobile area?
Several public and private schools are available in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The public schools on the Eastern Shore are some of the best public schools in the state of Alabama.
What is Mobile’s proximity to other major cities?
Driving time from Mobile to:
New Orleans 2-3 hours
Atlanta 5 hours
Birmingham 4 hours
Pensacola 45 minutes-1 hour
Biloxi 30-45 minutes
Mobile, Pensacola, Biloxi/Gulfport
What moonlighting opportunities are available?
Residents are allowed to moonlight after obtaining an Alabama license. It is not allowed to interfere with regular residency duties. There are opportunities to moonlight in the emergency room at our Children and Women’s hospital, in emergency rooms in the community, for disability physicals, urgent care, and many more.
How well do residents get along with each other?
Our residents are a very cohesive group. We have “out of hospital” social activities at least once a month, but groups of residents often get together for dinner, movies, trips to the beach, holiday get-togethers, birthdays, etc. We also have a weekend in the spring where residents go on retreat to Gulf Shores, Alabama.
How are resident-faculty interactions?
Our attendings are very approachable and easy going. They work with us with a vested interest in our learning and well-being. They are always eager to teach.
How much OB training is there?
There are two required months on the Obstetrics Labor & Delivery service. One month is covered during PGY1 year and the second month is covered during PGY2 year. We have OB continuity patients throughout our 3 years. If someone has a special interest in OB or plans to incorporate OB into their practice upon graduation, time is available during the 3rd year for elective rotations in OB to increase experience and skills.
Is research required?
No, but it is an option if you are interested.
What are our surgery rotations like?
We require 1 month of surgery. During the intern year, residents work as members of the medical center general surgery service with the surgery residents. During this rotation, residents also interact largely with an attending surgeon who specializes in breast and thyroid surgery, as well as our GI surgeons, and plastic surgeons.
Do we have resident retreat?
Yes. Each Spring, we have a dedicated 3 day, 2 night weekend retreat to the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The retreat is paid for by the Family Medicine Residency Department. It is a much needed break from hospital and clinical duties, as well as an excellent time to get to know each other a little better and spend time in the company of good friends. You might even get a little bit of sun too!