Rural Health Care


New Approach to Medical Residency May Ease Doctor Shortage in Central Valley

By Rebecca Plevin, Valley Public Radio

Dr. Peter Broderick examines a patient's x-ray while family practice medical residents look on. (Rebecca Plevin/KVPR)

Dr. Peter Broderick examines a patient’s x-ray while family practice medical residents look on. (Rebecca Plevin/KVPR)

The Central Valley suffers from an acute shortage of doctors — especially primary care doctors — but a new type of residency program aims to bring relief. These new “teaching health centers” are funded by the Affordable Care Act.

This new approach contrasts with traditional medical residency programs, which are often based at university medical centers in large cities and encourage specialty training.

With the recognition that medical residents often stay where they are trained, the idea behind this new approach is to place these young doctors not in large hospitals but in community health centers where they will focus on primary care.

“The hope is that more of the graduates from these programs will stay in these underserved settings, will work in these community health clinics, and hopefully address some of the shortages that we have with that population,” said Dr. Peter Broderick, the CEO of Modesto’s Valley Consortium of Medical Education.

In 2010 Broderick’s group opened the state’s first “teaching health center” — the Valley Family Medical Residency Program. It has trained 12 doctors a year since then. Continue reading