Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the residents come from?

All over the country - see the current Resident profiles and the list of our graduates.

Where do the Graduates go?

Ninety percent practice in cities less than 50,000 and 60% practice in towns less than 5,000. Over half in Colorado. See our Graduates link for details.

What is your call schedule like?

The call schedule is made by two Senior Residents. Our hardest "call' is on Teaching Service blocks & is organized in 12 hr shifts Q4. We have lots of other blocks where we might have 1-4 "calls" for the entire block.  These are either OB deck assignments or weekend ER/Family Medicine with Phone call coverage.  We strictly follow the duty hours.

How is your relationship with specialists?

Our specialists here in town are awesome teachers & take an active part in our learning. We feel comfortable calling them about any questions we have in regard to our patients, with the exception of only a couple (<5) that can be a little grumpy sometimes.

How many deliveries do you do?

Depends on how much you take part, but usually 75 (easily) to over 200.

How many admits do you do?

On a "typical" shift 2-5. This has been limited somewhat by our addition of a Hospitalist group. We have a large inpatient population & access to plenty of ICU patients. The attendings make sure we don't get too overwhelmed to learn and provide good patient care.

What is a typical call like?

Usually pretty busy. It's different for individual people based on how efficient you are. Some shifts I may not see the call room much. Lots of admissions, direct patient care and procedures. Fortunatly we don't get bogged down with scut work.

How much critical care do you get?

We get a lot of experience admitting and caring for ICU patients. The intensivists are more than willing to let us do the procedures on the patients we are following. Most 3rd years like to do an ICU elective where we get a lot of ICU procedures & follow patients with the pulmonologists/critical care docs. They provide a lot of great teaching.

What is the minority population in the community and is it reflected in the clinic?

The largest group is Hispanic who comprise approximately 11% of the local population, and over 20% of our clinic patients. We see the majority of those families and also work occasionally at the Farmworkers Health Clinic in Palisade. American Indians and Asians comprise the next most populous segments.

Do you care for the underserved?

YES! We provide critical access for all types of patients in our clinic & the hospital. Our care of the poor & medically indigent is an integral part of the St. Mary's charitable mission. We are more interested in people than their insurance. That's one benefit of being part of a not-for-profit system.

What procedures do you do?

Residents are trained in dedicated procedure clinics for skin lumps/bumps including removal of benign and cancerous lesions, cryotherapy, colposcopy, endometrial biopsy, LEEP, treadmills, OB/US, circumcision, casting/splints, injections, toenail removal, foreign body removal among other office procedures. Some hospital procedures include central lines, thoracenteses, paracentesis, intubations, vent management etc. 

What do people do in their free time?

Play outside! We have remarkably active residents who take full advantage of our excellent weather and unsurpassed geography - ski, fish, raft, bike, hike, etc. Our program frequently sponsors city league sports teams.

What is it like to be single in Grand Junction?

The area is full of people who enjoy all the recreational opportunities that the area offers, so an active person can easily find things to do, which is a great way to meet people and establish friendships. Dating in Grand Junction is like dating anywhere else - it takes an open mind and a dose of luck!

What are the practice opportunities after graduation?

Western Colorado is growing. It is easy for graduates to find a practice to their liking. Our graduates are in demand and have their choice of many practice sites.

Who are the major employers in Grand Junction?

Mesa County School District is the largest employer, with St. Mary's Hospital a close second, Colorado Mesa University, City Market, and the City/County/State are other major employers. It is usually not too hard for spouses or significant others to find a job.

What are the schools like for my children?

Mesa County has an excellent school system that includes magnet and charter schools, an alternative high school, career center and technical institute, Colorado Mesa University has programs for the Gifted and Talented high school students.