MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana is among the first family medicine residency programs in the nation to receive Osteopathic Recognition from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This recognition is based on formal application and review of FMRWM’s osteopathic curriculum.
“We are pleased to have been recognized by the ACGME as having a sound osteopathic curriculum,” said Dr. Marc Mentel, associate program director for osteopathic education. “This recognition can only enhance our ability to recruit high-quality residents to satisfy our mission to care for Montanans in rural and underserved parts of the state.”
FMRWM is dually accredited by the ACGME and the American Osteopathic Association. In early 2014, the AOA and ACGME entered into an agreement to merge, a process that will result in a single accrediting body in 2020 for all osteopathic and allopathic programs. While both osteopathic and allopathic physicians practice evidence-based scientific medicine, osteopathic physicians may use manual medicine techniques to complement their treatment regimens. Both types of doctors are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all 50 states.
The ACGME is an organization that accredits graduate medical education programs in the United States. During the 2013-14 academic year, there were approximately 9,600 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs. The ACGME created the Osteopathic Principles Committee to establish criteria for programs seeking Osteopathic Recognition and to formally review those programs. After an extensive application and evaluation process, FMRWM is one of the first programs in the nation deemed to have earned Osteopathic Recognition.
Having the ACGME Osteopathic Recognition is an important piece for the recruitment of top-notch osteopathic candidates who want to train in Montana and ultimately practice in Montana. Currently there are seven doctors of osteopathic medicine training in the FMRWM program.
Dr. Ned Vasquez, FMRWM program director, said the recognition will promote the program’s success as it continues its mission to train family physicians for Montana.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to achieve the ACGME Osteopathic Recognition under the new single accreditation system,” he said. “For a relatively new residency program, we have made great strides and accelerated achievements in a short amount of time. This speaks volumes of the commitment of our faculty and staff.”
The FMRWM, headquartered in Missoula, is a three-year family medicine residency program 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.
The program welcomed its inaugural class of 10 residents in July 2013 with the first class graduating in June 2016. FMRWM is dedicated to training family physicians capable of providing comprehensive and transformed care for the rural and underserved areas in Montana. For more information visit http://health.umt.edu/fmrwm/.