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School of Medicine Columbia

  • Doctor talking to patient

Family and Preventive Medicine

We understand that keeping people healthy goes beyond our role of diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses. That’s why we train medical students on health maintenance, disease prevention and patient education through classes, lectures and public service activities.

Everyone should have a personal medical team who knows them and their family and is led by a physician who provides personalized evidence based care.

That’s why we train medical students and residents to take care of all people at all stages of their lives in a team based environment. We understand that keeping people healthy goes beyond our role of diagnosing and treating acute and chronic illnesses. We teach how to maintain health, prevent illness, and help patients take the lead in their own care. We also train physicians on how to improve health care and lead in medical teams and community programs here and around the worldOur physicians manage the care of patients both in the hospital and in the office, from pregnant women and young children to diabetics, the elderly and even college athletes. In addition to family physicians, our faculty include preventive medicine specialists, behavioral health specialists and a pharmacist to ensure well rounded, team based training and patient care.


A Wide Skillset

Students and physicians in our department need to be able to understand and treat a broad range of illnesses. We provide the technology and teaching tools to make it happen. Procedures performed at the Family Medicine Center include:

  • Prenatal care including obstetric ultrasound
  • Well child examinations
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Group Visits
  • Primary Care Point-of-care Ultrasound
  • Minor surgery
  • Casting and splinting
  • Joint Injections
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Colposcopy (to examine the lower female genital tract)
  • Endometrial Biopsy
  • Naso-pharyngoscopy (to examine the nose and throat)
  • Skin procedures including punch biopsy, shave biopsy, cryotherapy, lesion excision, ED&C, nail avulsion, nail biopsy, nail matrixectomy, and others
  • Travel medicine 


Treating the Whole Patient

We understand health is more than address an illness in a doctor’s office and we work hard to integrate mental health care, case management, diabetic education and other services with primary care. We're able to treat the whole patient through:

  • In house counseling services
  • Diabetes education
  • Weight loss classes
  • Case Management and Social Work
  • Sports medicine services through our partnership with the USC Sports Medicine Center
  • In house lab services
  • X-ray
  • Pharmacy services
  • Smoking cessation
  • Travel clinic services
  • Group Prenatal Programs
  • Inpatient hospital services for adults and children at Palmetto Health Richland
  • Delivery and newborn care services at Palmetto Health Richland
  • Weight loss classes


A Focus on Rural Health

Our state has a pressing need for physicians trained to understand the needs of our rural communities. That's why we include a strong focus on rural health within our medical curriculum. Our faculty service at the John A Martin Primary Care Center in Winnsboro, SC, the only prenatal care provider in that county and regularly host medical students for clerkships and elective rotations.


Care of the Older Adult

Adults 65 and older now represent the largest in terms of size and percent of the US population. They are also the fastest growing segment of the population. Family physicians are in a unique position to provide comprehensive care to this group. It is estimated that 40 percent of the elderly will spend some time in post-acute rehab or long term care. The Department of Family Medicine provides medical direction and medical care to multiple senior care facilities in Columbia. This unique practice environment gives students an opportunity to explore geriatrics and the care of the frailest elderly. Special consideration is given to polypharmacy, dementia syndromes, movement disorders, congestive heart failure and post-stroke syndromes.


Our Faculty

Our faculty members provide primary medical care as well as sports medicine, skin, ultrasound, obstetrical, women’s health, pediatric and other care. Our faculty are responsible for the training medical students, family and preventive medicine residents, and sports medicine and global health fellows. 

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