GREENVILLE – Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, in collaboration with Miami Valley Hospital, Darke County Family Health Services and Wayne HealthCare of Greenville, is working to address the doctor shortage in rural communities in Ohio through its new rural family residency program. .
The goal of the residency program is to train family physicians who will establish medical practices in rural Ohio, where health systems struggle to find enough physicians to meet the needs of their communities.
The Boonshoft School of Medicine recently received approval from the Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education to launch the Rural Family Medicine Residency Program.
The Wright State Rural Family Medicine Residency is now accepting applications and will begin its first cohort of three residents in 2023.
For more information, visit wright.edu/ruralFM or contact Elizabeth Huff, Residency Coordinator, at [email protected]
The program is supported by a $750,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The agency has awarded 59 such grants since 2019, and Wright State is Ohio’s only recipient.
The Rural Family Medicine Residency Program is a 1-2 training program. Residents will spend their first year in the training program at the well-established Wright State family medicine residency in Dayton, typically at Miami Valley Hospital, followed by two years in Greenville, where they will see patients at Wayne HealthCare, Services Darke County Family Health and other Greenville community sites
The program will allow physicians to live and practice medicine in rural western Ohio. Greenville was chosen as the site for the residency program because of its excellent training facilities and physicians, opportunities for strong interprofessional educational experiences, and the need for physicians in Darke County.
Carlos Menendez, MD, director of the new residency program, practiced medicine in Greenville for 36 years. He is Director of the Rural Family Medicine Residency Program at Boonshoft School of Medicine. “The residency program is a wonderful opportunity to share our unique rural practice experience with a new generation of physicians,” he said. “The program will also help maintain a strong medical workforce for generations to come.”
Rural residencies are needed to address the shortage of doctors in rural America. While about 20% of Americans live in rural communities, only about 10% of doctors practice in rural communities. The rural medical workforce is also aging.
The location of residences plays a crucial role in solving this shortage. Studies have shown that 19% of family physicians practice within five miles of where they completed their residency and 38% practice within 25 miles.
“It’s an important aspect as we see our established doctors retire,” Menendez said. “We hope that the Wright State Rural Family Medicine Residency Program will be able to reinforce to our patients that they can be confident that their medical needs can be met at Family Health.”
After earning her medical degree and master’s degree in public health from Boonshoft School of Medicine, Sherry Adkins, MD, associate director of the new residency program, completed her residency training in a rural Ohio program. .
“It helped me define myself as a doctor. I knew in med school that I wanted to go home to practice, and I knew I learned best in a small setting with close relationships with mentors, so I chose a rural residency,” Adkins said. . “I have taught BSOM students for years, and I know there is a demand for more rural training.”
Lori Martensen, director of rural health initiatives at Boonshoft School of Medicine, said the rural residency is part of other School of Medicine efforts to address the doctor shortage in Ohio, especially in rural western Ohio.
For example, Wright State medical students interested in rural medicine can participate in the Wright Rural Medical Scholars program, which allows them to complete clinical rotations in rural health systems.
“We train excellent students who want to practice in rural settings, and we will now have a residence specifically designed for rural practice for these students,” Martensen said. “Ultimately, we want the pipeline to start with the rural high school students interested in medicine that we will train in college, medical school and residency, and then have the pipeline end when they enter practice. in a rural community.”
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