UM Family Medicine Residency Program Welcomes Class of 2023

The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana logo

MISSOULA – A new group of 10 resident family physicians will start training this week as part of the University of Montana’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana.

FMRWM develops family physicians who are compassionate, clinically competent and motivated to serve patients and communities in the rural and underserved areas of Montana. To date, 77% of the program’s graduates have gone on to practice in rural or underserved areas, with 72% remaining in Montana.

“Welcoming our new class of residents is always one of the most exciting times of the year for us at FMRWM,” said Dr. Amy Matheny, associate program director. “It gives all of us at the program a chance to reflect on our mission and values as we start a new academic year and commence the training of our new family medicine colleagues.”

Entry into the program is highly competitive, with over 1,000 applications received and 127 in-person interviews completed. This new class was matched with UM’s residency through the National Resident Matching Program, which uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants to medical residency programs across the United States.

The 2023 class includes Ben Merbler, DO Kansas City University College of Medicine; Paige O'Connor, DO Kansas City University COM; Jacqueline Ordemann, MD Tufts University-Maine; Stephen Reale, MD Tufts University; Jonathan Rhea, DO Des Moines University COM; Rachael Schmidt, MD University of Nebraska; Melanie Scott, DO Pacific NW University COM; KatiLyn Lucas, DO Pacific NW University COM; Taylor Simmons, MD University of Washington-Idaho WWAMI; and Barbara Steward, DO Pacific NW University COM.

Headquartered in Missoula, FMRWM is sponsored by UM and affiliated with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. The program’s sponsoring hospitals in western Montana are Kalispell Regional Healthcare, Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula and Community Medical Center in Missoula. Residents are involved in continuity clinic training at Partnership Health Center in Missoula and Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell.

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.

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Contact: Nathan Gilliam, program coordinator, UM Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, 406-258-4451,