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    There is a critical need for family medicine physicians nationwide. The state of Washington is no exception. In rural areas, such as eastern Washington, it’s one of the most difficult fields of medicine to recruit and retain physicians. Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and Pullman Regional Hospital have partnered to develop a solution by creating the Family Medicine Residency Program in Pullman, WA.

    What do Resident Physicians do?


    It’s important to note, physicians participating in the residency program are already physicians. They have completed all of their medical school training and earned their Doctor of Medicine degree (MD). The goal of a residency is to further their training and knowledge in areas encompassed within family medicine, such as:
    •    Hospital Medicine
    •    Women’s Health
    •    Pediatrics
    •    Orthopedics
    •    Sports Medicine 


    “These are all areas the National Family Medicine Board says are important for a family physician to know,” states Dr. Stephen Hall,  Program Director for the Family Medicine Residency Program.

    What is residency like? 

    Dr. Hall notes that today’s residencies are a bit different from what he experienced. “Residencies today are monitored more closely. But, I also want physicians to experience what it is like to provide long-term care. To build relationships with patients, to nurture those relationships, and to use that to provide better care.”

    This approach also benefits patients. Because the residents are focused on learning, they often have more time to spend with patients. Patients also get somewhat of a “two-fer”—being co-managed by the physician who is observing the resident. Plus, Dr. Hall assures the care residents provide is the “latest and greatest.”

    “The care you receive follows the latest expert recommendations, since the instruction the residents are receiving is based on the most current learnings. And, you get to know you're involved in teaching a new generation of physicians. Your story, your medical journey, can greatly influence the way medical care is delivered in the future. If that physician stays in the community, maybe you're even influencing the way they provide care to your friends, your neighbors, or maybe even yourself.”

    Future of Medicine: A Community Effort

    While Pullman may not be the first destination an up-and-coming physician might think of, it’s actually the perfect place to perfect their medical profession. Dr. Hall moved to the area 25 years ago and has only gained more appreciation for the community over time. He hopes residents both feel welcome and appreciated—and he calls on community members to achieve that sentiment. 

    “Pullman is such a wonderful place to live. I want our residents to experience that welcoming family atmosphere. I urge the community to open up to them, allow yourself to be a teacher by sharing your experiences with them. Anyone can learn facts from a book, but what you have to offer is more important and is the human side of medicine. So, if you find yourself encountering a family medicine resident, please share with them. It will impact their learning so much. And, if you want to go a step further, you could actually sign up to be a patient in the family medicine resident clinic.”


    If you don't currently have a primary care physician or are looking to make a change, the Family Medicine Residency Center is accepting new patients.  Call (509) 336-7720 or email to establish care today.


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