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100 percent of graduating family medicine residents at Marshall University will practice in Appalachian communities

Monday, Sept. 22, 2014
Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713


100 percent of graduating family medicine residents
at Marshall University will practice in Appalachian communities


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Every family medicine resident who graduated in June, 2014,from the family and community health residency program at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will practice medicine in central Appalachia, the department’s chairman, Stephen Petrany, M.D., announced today.

“Seven of the eight graduates (88%) are practicing in West Virginia,” Petrany said.  “Four (50%) of the graduates are practicing in federally qualified health centers (FQHC) in rural West Virginia.  The one who is not practicing in West Virginia will be practicing in rural North Carolina in an FQHC after completing a few months with the Indian Health Service in South Dakota.   We take seriously our school’s mission of educating a physician workforce for central Appalachia and this year’s graduating class of medical residents is a prime example of that commitment.”

W. Mitchel Shaver, M.D., residency director for the department, said historically Marshall Family Medicine has produced physicians to meet the unique needs of rural Appalachian populations.

 “Over the last 10 years we have completed 75 residents,” Shaver said.  “Fifty-seven of them, or about 76%, are practicing in West Virginia.  Sixty-six (88%) are practicing in the general Central Appalachia geographic area.”

According to the National Rural Health Association, only about 10 percent of physicians practice in rural America despite the fact that nearly one-fourth of the population lives in those areas.  

Dean Joseph I. Shapiro says Marshall’s mission of educating students for rural practice remains a top priority.

“It’s absolutely essential for the overall health of our nation’s citizens to educate doctors to practice in rural parts of the country,” Shapiro said. “Studies show that rural Americans are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions and face greater difficulty getting adequate health care, so providing doctors in towns and small cities is essential to meet the demand.”

For more than a dozen times over the past two decades, Marshall has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for efforts to foster student interest in family medicine and produce graduates who enter the specialty.




Date Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014