Rural medical residency program on the Palouse

Rural medical residency program on the Palouse

Pullman Regional Hospital has taken an important step toward establishing a first-of-its-kind rural medical residency program on the Palouse.

The hospital is working with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to establish an accredited rural residency training track for graduate medical education in Family Medicine with the Spokane Teaching Health Center program.

A residency is additional training that follows graduation from medical school. Pullman’s rural residency track in Family Medicine would be three years with the first year in Spokane and the second and third years in Pullman.

The goal is to train and retain these residents to continue to practice medicine on the Palouse.

In January, a representative from the ACGME made a site visit to Pullman and Spokane as part of the accreditation process.

A decision to accredit the program is expected in April. If approved, medical students applying to qualified residency programs will be matched to Providence Holy Family Residency program with the Pullman Regional Hospital pathway in the fall of 2018.

Two applicants will be chosen and will begin their first year of residency in Family Medicine at Providence Holy Family Hospital in Spokane followed by two years in Pullman.

“The effort to build a residency program in Pullman helps build a pipeline of physicians who want to practice on the Palouse,” said Dr. Gerald Early, Chief Medical Officer at Pullman Regional Hospital. “Research shows that residents are more likely to go on to practice as a physician in the town they performed their residency,”

“It is critical Pullman and the Palouse continue to have a strong medical staff of primary care physicians and specialists,” said Scott Adams, CEO. “We are taking a proactive approach to build a residency program in Family Medicine to build the future we want for healthcare on the Palouse.”

In 2021, two more residents would be training in Pullman bringing the total to four.