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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.  Health and health care should be holistic as well as person and community-centered. That’s why we train medical students on health maintenance, disease prevention, patient education, quality and safety, and community health through classes, lectures, projects 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, high quality, 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 persons with chronic illness, the elderly and even college athletes. In addition to family medicine specialists, our faculty include preventive medicine specialists, behavioral health specialists and pharmacists 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 conditions. 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
  • Point-of-care Ultrasound
  • Minor surgery
  • Casting and splinting
  • Joint Injections
  • Exercise stress testing
  • Colposcopy (to examine the lower female genital tract)
  • Endometrial Biopsy
  • Nasopharyngoscopy (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


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, patient education and other services with primary care. We're able to treat the whole patient through:

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

Leaders in New Models of Care

Our department emphasizes innovation and leadership in multiple health areas, including practice redesign, rural health, global health and sports medicine. Our clinical training practice was the first patient-centered medical home in South Carolina. Our department supports our state's rural health needs through partnership with the SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare. We have developed a national reputation for our global health programs, and our sports medicine division is a critical partner for USC athletes.

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 hosts medical students for clerkships and elective rotations. This center is also the site for our rural health residency clinical track.

Global Health

Our department has international reach through our leadership and expertise in global health. Multiple faculty have extensive international practice experience and have pioneered education and care efforts on several continents. Through our two-year Global Health Fellowship, we address the practice of medicine in resource-poor settings, the development of public health and sustainable indigenous heal care, project management and team leadership


Sports Medicine

Care of the athlete, be it collegiate, amateur or weekend warrior, is a vital part of family medicine. Our sports medicine faculty are the primary care team physicians for USC and South Carolina State University athletes. Our sports medicine fellowship is consistently a sought-after training program.


Care of the Older Adult

Older adults 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, maternity, women’s health, pediatric and other care. Our faculty are responsible for the training medical students, family and preventive medicine residents, and sports medicine, ultrasound and global health fellows. 

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