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Message From the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care. The UMass Chan Medical School was founded in 1962 to provide affordable, high-quality medical education to state residents and to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in underserved areas of the state. 

This commitment continues and is reflected by our consistent ranking in the top tier of America's medical schools for primary care physician education. UMass is home to the state's first Family Medicine department, which has grown over the decades to include a broad array of clinical, teaching and research activities, grounded by commitment to the vision of Healthy people, families, and communities - with equal access for all.  

In order to improve the health of patients, families and communities, we recognize that:

  • A health care system with a strong primary care base delivers the highest quality, the lowest cost, and the greatest equity;
  • Family Medicine is the largest, most geographically distributed, and most well-developed primary care specialty. The core of our discipline is trusting, long-term doctor-patient relationships;
  • The principles of Community Health complement those of Family Medicine, providing an understanding of the communities in which our patients live, the impact of communities on health, and the importance of advocacy for those who are most at risk; and
  • Primary care that incorporates the biopsychosocial model and integrates behavioral health provides a powerful foundation for the health system.

Our family physicians have expertise in a variety of clinical areas, including Hospital Medicine, Advanced Obstetrics, Sports Medicine, Geriatrics, Palliative Care, Student Health, health care to the homeless, care for patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and addiction medicine. The department is a national leader in the integration of behavioral health into primary care practice. We support and are affiliated with an array of academic and community-based practices that provide clinical services to vulnerable and complex populations.

Our academic mission emphasizes the relationship between clinical practice and community health with a particular focus on serving vulnerable populations. The breadth and depth of our clinical operations provide an excellent educational platform to train the next generation of caregivers. We are committed to providing opportunities for professional development and advancement of our faculty, as this enhances excellence in clinical care, education, research, and professional satisfaction. Bringing several related disciplines together, we support a diverse, creative faculty with skills ranging from health policy to clinical care. We provide environments where our extraordinary faculty collaborate with each other, with learners, with teams, and with patients. 

 The department serves as a catalyst to find solutions to complicated problems as we advocate for our patients and their communities, for rational transformation of the health care system, and for equal access for all. We are engaged in efforts to improve models of delivering primary care to achieve better outcomes, better patient experience, and settings where clinicians and staff can thrive.

We seek the best and the brightest to join our academic community, as we confront the complex challenges of healthcare delivery especially for vulnerable populations. We invite you to learn more about our clinical, educational, research, and community programs by exploring our website, or by contacting me. 

M. Diane McKee, MD
Department Chair