MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana has received a record number of medical student applications this year. With more than 800 applicants for 10 training positions, the success of the nearly 3-year-old residency program is being felt and celebrated during this resident interviewing season.
FMRWM prepares family physicians with a focus on comprehensive training that is needed to practice effectively for rural and underserved areas in Montana.
The program welcomed its first class of 10 family medicine residents in July 2013, and the inaugural class will graduate at the end of June 2016. The creation of the program more than doubled the number of family medicine physicians being trained in Montana each year and is expected to have a significant impact on the state’s shortage of primary care doctors in rural communities.
“We have been very fortunate to have recruited the faculty and residents that have built the program to date, with a clear focus on our mission of training family physicians to practice in the rural and underserved communities of Montana,” program director Dr. Ned Vasquez said. “Our recruiting season has been going very well, and we are optimistic about our prospects for recruiting a fourth excellent class.”
Program applicants undergo an intensive interview process, involving contact with current residents and faculty. The program especially strives to identify applicants who have some background or strong desire to work in rural areas.
Interviews began in October and will run through early January. Interviewees will be ranked and matched through the National Resident Matching Program, which provides an objective and fair process for matching applicants and residency programs. Notification of the match results will take place mid-March 2016, with a new class starting at the end of June 2016.
Headquartered in Missoula, FMRWM is sponsored by UM and affiliated with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. The program’s three sponsoring hospitals in western Montana include Kalispell Regional Healthcare, Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center. Residents are involved in continuity clinic training at Partnership Health Center in Missoula and Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell.
Additionally, the program works with an extensive rural training network of nine sites, including Blackfeet Community Hospital, Northwest Community Health Center, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Clark Fork Valley Hospital, St. Luke Community Healthcare, Community Physicians Group-Stevensville, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, Community Hospital of Anaconda and Barrett Hospital and Healthcare.
For more information visit http://health.umt.edu/fmrwm/.