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St. Mary’s is training tomorrow's family doctors

June 20, 2011
Family doctors are in short supply in the U.S., as are the residency programs that train them. Fortunately, things are different at St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency Program where applications have increased 60 percent in the last five years. St. Mary’s now contributes eight new family doctors each year, more than 180 since the program started 34 years ago.

While more than half of St. Mary’s graduates go on to practice medicine in Colorado, the people of western Colorado benefit from the residents’ presence long before they complete their three-year training program, says Sherman Straw, MD, director of the residency program.

The doctors in St. Mary’s residency program deliver more than 8,000 days of care to hospitalized patients each year. They provide ‘round-the-clock coverage in Labor and Delivery, and their rotations in the emergency department free up personnel needed in other areas of the hospital. “The residents also take care of our patients in the Family Medicine Center,” Straw says. The family medicine clinic had over 30,000 patient visits in 2010.