Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana Program Underway - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana Program Underway

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The new Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana Program finished its first week today.

With the health care workforce aging, The University of Montana has partnered with local medical providers to start a second residency program in Montana to produce more locally grown doctors.

After four years of hard work, Program Director, Ned Vasquez, is happy the program started.

"It's been extremely exciting on a number of occasions, we got it accredited in October, that was a huge milestone. When we knew we had filled all ten of our resident positions in March we were very very pleased and now having these ten residents here and knowing the quality of these individuals has been a very very exciting thing for us," Vasquez said.

It is not only the instructors who are happy to see this program start.

"I was elated that there was going to be another residency program in Montana, not only for my own reasons but also for the health care of Montana. The fact there is going to be another residency here and available providing care to patients is really exciting," Saul Rivard said.

Billings was previously the only Montana Residency Program and accepted eight residents annually.

"The seed was planted by the University of Washington who felt that Missoula and Kalispell were really good places to create another residency program that could serve western Montana. And the key piece is that Montana has been 50th in the nation for graduate medical education because we've only have one residency in Billings."

For the first week of the new program, the ten residents have gone through traditional orientation activities at the school and hospitals and have done initial evaluations of their clinical skills.

Starting next week, the residents will begin to work their 80 hours weeks in hospitals and clinics.

 

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