UM medical program receives osteopathic accreditation


The Family Medicine Residency program at the University of Montana has received osteopathic recognition from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, a boost to a program launched with 10 students three years ago.

It’s among the nation’s first family medicine residency programs in the nation to receive the recognition.

“This recognition can only enhance our ability to recruit high-quality residents to satisfy our mission to care for Montanans in rural and underserved parts of the state,” said Dr. Marc Mentel, associate program director for osteopathic education.

The program is accredited by both the American Osteopathic Association and the council for Graduate Medical Education. The two accrediting bodies plan to merge in 2020.

Dr. Ned Vasquez, the program’s director, said the recognition will help recruit top-tier candidates wanting to train and practice in Montana. The school currently claims seven doctors training in the UM program.

The program opened in with 10 residents in July 2013. The first class graduated in 2016.

“For a relatively new residency program, we have made great strides and accelerated achievements in a short amount of time,” said Vasquez. “This speaks volumes of the commitment of our faculty and staff.”

The three-year program is based in Missoula and claims an affiliation with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network. The program’s three sponsoring hospitals include Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Community Medical Center in Missoula, and Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

The program works with an extensive rural training network, ranging from the Blackfeet Community Hospital to the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.