MISSOULA – Medically underserved areas in Montana, Alaska, Idaho will gain 10 new family medicine physicians when the University of Montana’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana graduates its fifth class on Sunday, June 28. Seven of the graduates are planning to practice in Montana.
Montana continues to experience physician shortages, with 52 out of 56 counties considered “underserved,” and 11 counties typically having no physicians of any kind. When FMRWM accepted it first class in 2013, Montana ranked 50th in the nation for graduate medical education positions per capita. The creation of FMRWM has helped move the state to 46th for resident physicians per capita and substantially increased the pipeline for communities to recruit doctors.
“We are proud to congratulate our graduates and welcome them as new family physician colleagues,” said Dr. Robert Stenger, FMRWM program director. “As in prior years, about three-quarters of FMRWM graduates remain in practice in Montana. This year’s graduates will enter practice in Browning, Ronan, Kalispell and Missoula, as well as rural communities in Alaska and Idaho.”
The FMRWM class of 2020 with future practice sites are: Katie Camarata, DO (Cascade, ID); Chris Hallberg, MD (Nome, AK and Missoula); Amanda Hartman, MD (TBD); Jonathon James, DO (Missoula); Charlie Jose, MD (Ketchikan, AK); Alyssa Lautenschlager, MD (Browning); Amy Richmond, MD (Missoula); Isaac Billings, DO (Ronan); Brandon Bilyeu, DO (TBD); and Stella Hutchins, MD (Kalispell).
Based in Missoula and Kalispell, FMRWM is sponsored by UM and affiliated with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Residents are involved in continuity clinic training at Partnership Health Center in Missoula and Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell.
“A key initiative at UM across the training of a contemporary healthcare workforce is interprofessional education,” said Reed Humphrey, College of Health dean, UM acting provost and head of UM Health and Medicine. “The family medicine residency program has been invaluable to realizing this initiative. We are pleased to be able to sponsor and work closely with the residency program.”
FMRWM works with an extensive rural training network of 16 sites: Barrett Hospital and HealthCare, Dillon; Blackfeet Community Hospital, Browning; Central Montana Medical Center, Lewistown; Clark Fork Valley Hospital, Plains; Community Hospital of Anaconda, Anaconda; Deer Lodge Medical Center, Deer Lodge; Eureka Healthcare-North Valley Hospital, Eureka; Madison Valley Medical Center, Ennis; Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, Hamilton; Northwest Community Health Center, Libby; Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Polson; Ruby Valley Medical Center, Sheridan; St. Luke Community Hospital, Ronan; St. James Medical Group & Southwest Montana Community Health Center, Butte; Stoneybrook Medicine, Stevensville; and Tribal Health of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, St. Ignatius.
For more information visit: http://health.umt.edu/fmrwm/