Family Medicine Residency Program

St. Mary's Medical Center has a long history of training great family physicians. This outstanding residency was established in 1977 and is affiliated with the University of Colorado. Based in Grand Junction, Colo., we are the only residency program within a 250-mile radius. Our emphasis is training doctors to practice in rural areas. We have more than 200 graduates, 90 percent practice in communities with populations of less than 50,000 and 60 percent practice in towns with less than 10,000.

For a brief summary, please watch our Family Medicine Residency video.

News and Updates

New Residents and Fellow

Welcome to our eight new residents, who will arrive in the middle of June:

  • Alicia Adams, MD, Rush Medical College
  • Anita Allison-McNutt, MD, University of Louisville School of Medicine
  • Travis Anderson, MD, University of Texas
  • Meredith Evans, MD, University of Colorado
  • Andrew Gerdes, MD, University of Texas at Houston
  • Christopher Meinzen, MD Tulane University
  • Matthew Nelson, DO, A.T. Stills University SOM
  • Angela Pace, MD, University of Kansas

And welcome our new Sports Medicine Fellow, Matthew Compton, DO, Des Moines University COM, Offutt AFB/University of Nebraska Family Medicine Residency

AAFP 2014 Outstanding Program Award

SMGJ Resident AwardThe AAFP 2014 Outstanding Program Award was given to our graduate, Luke Casias, MD of Durango, Colo. Luke put together the “Fit Family Challenge” on the back of a napkin! This is a program that gives primary care providers tools to identify and treat pediatric obesity. Everyone should review how easy it is to coach parents and children using the 5-2-1-0 plan. We have six years of data that show it works. Congratulations Luke!…/…/1925134/0/article.html

Presidential Year for St. Mary's

This is a PRESIDENTIAL year for St Mary's Family Medicine Residency. Bob Wergin, MD is the new national president of AAFP! Dr. Wergin was a resident in Grand Junction, practiced here nine years and was part-time faculty. He delivered two of Dr. Straw's children and will be happy to recommend us if you ask him.

Resident of the Year

Congratulations to Gina Martin, MD who was selected as CAFP's F. William Barrows Resident of the Year in 2014. This prestigious award is given yearly to an outstanding resident. For the formal press release please visit or

PBS Documentary

Name a residency program that has PBS prepare a documentary that prominently features it. That is us! Watch this special by T.R. Reed, "US Healthcare: The Good News." This film was released nationally in 2012, the PBS website.


We received a 5-year re-accreditation from ACGME and recognition as a Level III Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) from NCQA. Both are the highest honors available.

Family-Centered Maternity Care Conference

The latest of our eight national presentations this year was at the July AAFP Family Centered Maternity Care Conference. Dr. Elvi Whiteford shared our successful Spanish Prenatal Group Medical Visit.

About Us

St. Mary's Medical Center is the largest medical center on the Western Slope of Colorado. This 350-bed hospital serves as a primary and referral hospital for an area of more than a quarter million square miles encompassing parts of four states. The Faculty and Residents are an integral part of this region's patient care. This provides residents exposure to a remarkable depth and breadth of patients not typically seen at other hospitals. St. Mary's Medical Center staff includes more than 300 physicians representing nearly every specialty and sub-specialty.

The community has a strong base of family doctors and specialists who contribute to the residency program. We offer a popular Family Medicine Clerkship experience for fourth-year students of LCME-accredited and AOA-approved schools. There is also a Sub-I in Internal Medicine to take advantage of one of our many strengths. Third-year students from the University of Colorado complete their Family Medicine Clerkships with us. Housing adjacent to the hospital is available.

The St. Mary's Family Medicine Program is an 8-8-8 format and is the only residency at St. Mary's. There are currently 13 faculty members devoted to resident education.

One hundred percent of our graduates have passed the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Exam. Visit Graduates and Practice Locations for the names and medical school of doctors who have completed the program and the location of their practices. Also, see what our graduates have to say about us.

We are the "best kept secret" in family medicine. At 4,600 feet and surrounded by mountains, our topography provides surprisingly mild weather year-round with more than 300 days of sunshine and a long growing season. Agriculture, ranching and tourism are our biggest local industries. This is also Colorado wine country.

The Family Medicine Center is a Level III Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), located in a large facility (29,700 sq. ft.), specially designed for the residency program and is walking distance from the hospital. The center includes 34 exam rooms with specially designated rooms for minor surgery, fetal monitoring, ultrasound, gynecologic procedures, patient education, fiber-optic endoscopy, counseling and a spacious precepting area. Personal areas for each resident are provided in two large resident studies.

Most of our conferences are held in one of three conference rooms. There is NO pharmaceutical funding of our program or drug representative visits.

Educational Opportunities

  • Grand Rounds: 7 a.m., Tuesdays
  • Education Day: Noon to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday; catered lunch; variety of topics, speakers and time for hands-on learning.
  • Thursday Lunch Specials:
    • Evidence-Based Medicine
    • Pharmasuitables (Best Rx Tips)
    • OB M & M
  • Journal Club

The Western Slope Collaborative Clinic has been part of us for 12 years. The clinic provides primary care, HIV specialty care, case management, mental health, dental and peer adherence counseling in an integrated setting. Care is provided in our office in conjunction with sub-specialists from the University of Colorado. We offer training that will allow residents to earn certification as HIV Specialists from the American Academy of HIV Medicine.