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Family medicine residency continues to grow

For Montana’s rural communities, it can be difficult to reach regular family medical care. With only two resident physicians per 100,000 people, there is a statewide shortage for primary doctors in rural settings. The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana aims to lessen the gap between rural communities and family physicians.

The Missoula-based residency program launched in 2013, and aims to support applicants focused on practicing in Montana’s underserved areas. The first class recently graduated in July 2016, and 10 new residents are accepted each year.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare partnered with the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana in 2014 to help further address the lack of family physicians in the state. KRH hosts three residents per class year. Beginning in October, the residency program interviews for these positions, as well as seven openings at the program headquarters in Missoula.

This year, more than 40 applicants vied for the Kalispell positions, and more than 80 for the seven Missoula openings. Program leaders are pleased to see such interest and say that the quality of applicants is on the rise with each round of interviews.

As the program’s reputation continues to grow, so does the pool of trained family physicians striving to improve access to family care across the state.

KRH's current resident physicians split their time between Kalispell Regional Medical Center and the Greater Valley Health Center.

Learn more about the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana.