Med school program lifts Montana's primary care

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Med school program lifts Montana's primary care

September 4, 2018

Placing more trainees with mentors in small clinics has created positive change, says the dean of Montana WWAMI.

Through Montana TRUST, residents in the University of Washington School of Medicine are introduced to rural health care during weeks-long rotations. They are matched with a mentor, or preceptor, at clinics and medical centers in small towns. 

Of those who have chosen to be part of Montana TRUST, the majority pursue careers in family medicine, “which for rural medicine is what we need,” said Dr. Jay Erickson. He oversees clinical training in Montana for the UW's multistate medical-training program, called WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho).

“The data is pretty clear if you grow up in a community, you’re three times more likely to return there than the average medical student,” he said. “So the data is on our side.