Rural Health Track

Marshall Family Medicine Residency provides a broad-based educational experience leading to competency in all types of practice settings. Residents with a special interest in rural practice have the opportunity to receive unique and extensive experiences in rural settings. They will learn how to function in areas where access to immediate referral is limited and where the latest diagnostic and treatment equipment is not always available. The Rural Health Track emphasizes development of an entire range of practice skills needed to care for the vast array of patient problems encountered by today's family physicians.

“I’ve always wanted to practice medicine in a rural area, and the MU Family Medicine Rural Track allowed me to do this much sooner than I expected. I had the opportunity to address the needs of individuals within our small community and those of the community itself.  I learned leadership and teamworking skills that allowed me to navigate barriers created by the social determinants of health which affected my rural patients. The training that I received through this program helped me become a better physician.”

-- Courtney Wellman, MD

A partial listing of the special offerings provided by the program that will uniquely equip residents for rural service includes:

  • Opportunity for assignment to a rural health clinic (LPCC or Lavalette) for their continuity practice experience
  • Special educational opportunities in Appalachian culture and geography, rural health and epidemiology
  • A one-to-three month supervised experience in a rural health center or clinic
  • Specialty rotations in rural sites, to further develop skills such as OB, GYN, pediatrics, geriatrics, rural emergency medicine, etc.
  • Training in preventive procedures and commensurate health promotion skills in under-served settings with diverse subcultures
  • Membership in the Rural Health Association
  • Attendance at a meeting of the Rural Health Association
  • Research opportunities focusing on issues pertinent to medical care in rural and small town communities
  • Logistic support and advice for beginning practice in small towns and rural sites

Tammy Bannister, MD

Residency Director

Jennifer Plymale
Center for Rural Health

Katherine Bell, MD
Site Director, Lavalette

Blue Cremeans, MD
Rural Track Resident

Trenton Hayes, MD
Rural Track Resident

Jacob Hesson, MD
Rural Track Resident

Robert Jackson, MD
Rural Track Resident

The Department of Family and Community Health is located in the foothills of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. The Residency Program, through faculty and graduates, has affiliation with numerous rural and small town health centers throughout West Virginia, including Lincoln Primary Care Center ( LPCC) and Marshall Health at Lavalette.  These locations provide the continuity sites for the Rural Health Track.