UM names 10 new docs to family residency program

By Missoula Current

After receiving more than 800 applications and conducting nearly 120 interviews, the University of Montana’s Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana has selected its fourth incoming class.

The new cohort of 10 family physician residents, selected through the National Resident Matching Program, will start its three-year training this summer.

Ned Vasquez, the program’s director, said the UM residency program has gained more attention since it launched in 2013. The program graduated its first glass last year and of the 10 doctors, six stayed in Montana to practice rural medicine.

“As our program has matured, we have increasingly gained national visibility, resulting in high-quality applicants from an increasing number of medical schools across the U.S.,” Vasquez said. “This is an excellent achievement for a young residency, allowing us to effectively compete with programs that have existed for more than 20 years.”

Interviews for the new round of family doctors began in October and finished in early January. The National Resident Matching Program helps match applicants with programs through a computerized mathematical algorithm, which lines up preferences to fill training positions across the United States.

Vasquez said the program focuses on the training needed to practice family medicine in Montana’s rural and underserved areas.

“The program began with a class of 10 in July 2013, and the inaugural class graduated in June 2016,” he said. “The program has more than doubled the number of family medicine physicians trained in Montana.”

The 2020 class includes:

· Isaac Billings of Pellston, Michigan, attended Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

· Brandon Bilyeu of Luther, Montana, attended Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.

· Katie Camarata of Fall River Mills, California, attended Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine.

· Alyssa Cowell of Menominee, Michigan, attended Central Michigan University.

· Chris Hallberg of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attended University of Washington.

· Amanda Hartman of Reno, Nevada, attended University of Nevada.

· Jonathon James of Anacortes, Washington, attended Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine.

· Charles Jose of Henderson, Nevada, attended University of Nevada.

· Amy Richmond of Bloomington, Indiana, attended Indiana University.

· Stella Selden of Kalispell, Montana, attended University of Utah.