MISSOULA – A University of Montana-based program has expanded its residency physician medical services to include Greater Valley Health Center’s location in Hungry Horse.
UM’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana is able to expand its continuity clinic experiences to more rural and underserved populations thanks to a federally funded grant through the Health Resources Services Administration.
The UM residency program is one of 20 organizations nationally to receive this grant, with the goal of increasing rural training and exposure for resident physicians specializing in family medicine and primary care.
Three resident physicians will share patient duties at the Hungry Horse clinic this academic year: Dr. Taylor Simmons, a third-year resident, and second-year residents Dr. Bryce Roberts and Dr. Emilie McIntyre.
“To me, working in Hungry Horse feels like taking care of a family member,” Roberts said. “These patients are honest, hardworking folks who are usually sacrificing more than just their time to come and see me. It’s a privilege for me to know them and care for them. I also find it very satisfying to coordinate limited resources so that they can receive their care close to home. Hungry Horse is a wonderful community, and I am blessed to be able to work there.”
Resident physician training in rural areas is central to the FMRWM mission to train clinically competent physicians to practice in rural and underserved areas of Montana.
According to a 2016 analysis by the University of Washington, residency can be highly associated with the location where a physician eventually chooses to practice. The more training in rural and underserved areas, the more likely the resident will continue to practice in those areas. In Montana, 52 of 56 counties in Montana currently are designated primary care shortage areas.
“The Hungry Horse clinic is a small clinic that fills a big need,” Simmons said. “As a provider who is looking to practice in an underserved, low-resource area, I appreciate the opportunity in residency to train in a similar setting. Dr. Tremper, our primary supervising physician in Hungry Horse, is well known and well loved, and I always look forward to learning from him and his patient population. The creativity and flexibility required will keep us residents on our toes!”
Interested residents submitted an application for consideration for the Hungry Horse position. Three residents were chosen and will continue providing services through the 2022-23 academic year. The residency program will take applications each year to replace graduating residents.
FMRWM also sends Missoula-track residents to Partnership Health Center’s Seeley Lake clinic, as part of the rural continuity clinic program.
FMRWM is a three-year family medicine residency program based in Missoula with a track in Kalispell. Each year the program recruits 10 first-year residents and graduates 10 third-year residents. At any given time, there are 24 residents located in Missoula and six located in Kalispell.
Residents in Missoula complete their continuity clinic at Partnership Health Center, and Kalispell residents complete their continuity clinic at Greater Valley Health Center. FMRWM is part of the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network and is sponsored by Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center in Missoula and Logan Health in Kalispell.
Contact: Dr. Samantha Greenberg, Kalispell site director, 406-607-4945, firstname.lastname@example.org.