The Central Washington Family Medicine residency program has been around for 22 years, producing primary care doctors who, for the most part, stay and serve the Yakima community.
Now, the first Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences graduates to enter the residency are finishing up, finally seeing the culmination of seven years of medical education. And two out of three will be staying in the Yakima area to practice.
“None of them grew up in the communities they’re practicing in,” said Dr. Russell Maier, director of the residency program. “But having the school, having the residency, has really helped us keep them in the community.”
The three graduated with PNWU’s first class of medical students in 2012, but graduating from medical school just means students have a very expensive degree — they can’t practice as independent doctors yet. They must first complete a three-year residency in whatever field they wish to pursue, and pass some strenuous national board exams.
Medical educators consistently say doctors are most likely to settle down and open a practice where they complete their residency, because it establishes relationships with patients and other doctors, and shows them just what they’re signing up for.Click to read the full article!