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Pullman Regional Hospital eyes rural health care residency

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 8, 2018, 9:48 p.m.

Pullman Regional Hospital is hoping to establish a family medicine residency program to train doctors in rural health care.

The three-year residency would train newly graduated doctors, with the hope that some would choose to continue practicing on the Palouse following their training.

A representative from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, which must approve new residencies, visited Pullman and Spokane in January, the hospital said in a news release.

The council should make a decision by April.

If the program is approved, residents would spend a year in Spokane at Providence Holy Family Hospital, then two in Pullman. Two residents would start the program in fall 2018.

“The effort to build a residency program in Pullman helps build a pipeline of physicians who want to practice on the Palouse,” Dr. Gerald Early, chief medical officer at Pullman Regional Hospital, said in the release. “Research shows that residents are more likely to go on to practice as a physician in the town they performed their residency.”