Alaska rural internal medicine residency accredited

Based in Soldotna, Alaska, it is the first accredited rural residency training program in internal medicine of its kind in the United States. 
Fishing dock Kenai River
Fishing dock along the Kenai River

A new rural internal medicine residency program in Soldotna, Alaska, has received initial accreditation from the American Council on Graduate Medical Education. The residency is under the auspices of the Department of Medicine at the UW School of Medicine.

This is the first accredited rural residency training program in internal medicine of its kind in the country.

Known as the University of Washington-Alaska Internal Medicine Rural Residency Program, its mission is to provide an intensive Alaska-based, rural primary-care-focused training experience in internal medicine.

The goal is to place exceptional internists in Alaskan communities in high need of physicians. This goal aligns with UW Medicine's mission to serve the WWAMI region of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho and improve the health of the public.

Moose in a residential area of Soldotna, Alaska. 

The program will start small with two residents per year. The first year of residency will be spent in Seattle to acquire the same strong foundation that all Seattle first-year internal medicine residents receive at  core training sites.

The second and third years of residency will be spent in Alaska. The residents will be based primarily in Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula. Some rotations will take place in other rural sites and in Anchorage.  The program's leaders anticipate recruiting for the first class next fall with an anticipated start date of July 2024. 

Dr. Ken Steinberg, internal residency program director, will serve as the initial program director, but much credit also goes to two other UW medical school Department of Medicine faculty members: Dr. Gail Pokorney, clinical assistant professor, who will be the site director in Soldotna, and Dr. Megan Roosen-Runge, clinical instructor, who will be part of the core faculty in Soldotna, for their hard work and leadership in developing this program.

“To be the first accredited internal medicine rural residency in the country for this type of innovative training program is truly an accomplishment." said Steinberg. "I am so grateful for the support from the Department, UW Medicine, Peninsula Internal Medicine in Soldotna, and to everyone who worked on this project with us, especially Gail and Megan."

Written by the UW-Alaska Internal Medicine Rural Residency Program


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