MedWatch: Family Practice Residency

It can often be hard for rural hospitals and offices to recruit doctors, putting added stress on the physicians we already have.

But Munson Medical Center’s Family Residency Program is bucking that trend.

Michelle Dunaway shows us why in this month’s MedWatch.

“Our program is one of the best family medicine programs in Michigan, if not the country,” said Karan Mehta, M.D.

That’s a big reason why Karan Mehta is in Northern Michigan today.

He’s a recent graduate of Munson Medical Center’s residency program. 

“I knew I wanted to do family medicine, but I was also interested in emergency medicine, also interested in hospitalist medicine, so I knew a program like this would give me the opportunity to do any of those when I was finished,” explained Dr. Mehta.

That’s because Munson’s residency program is a little different than most.

“Our residency is a family medicine residency, it’s the only residency at Munson, so that’s unusual, most teaching hospitals have multiple residencies accounted for,” explained Family Medicine Residency Director J. William Rawlin.

Dr. Mehta added, “I knew that being in an unopposed rural program, meaning there’s no other residencies here, we could have like being able to work with all the other attending doctors in every rotation.”

While that uniqueness was certainly a draw, the area itself ended up being a big reason why Dr. Mehta is now working in the ER at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.

“I feel so lucky to live here. I have lived all over Michigan; Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, and I also lived in Chicago before I lived here, this is my most favorite place I’ve ever lived for sure. It’s so beautiful, the restaurant scene is amazing, which I love. That’s one thing I thought I would miss about the big city, but there’s really good food here, there’s a lot to do,” said Dr. Mehta.

He’s not alone. Out of the seven recent graduates, six have committed to staying in the Munson system.

“Two are doing hospitalist work, only in other words, just seeing people in the hospital. One is in Cadillac, one is in Grayling, one is going to do ER work and may also do some hospitalist work in Grayling, and two are going to Kalkaska,” explained Dr. Rawlin.

Family Medicine Residency Director J. William Rawlin says like Dr. Mehta, the reasons are two fold, but in the end its Northern Michigan patients who benefit with better, more accessible care.

“Despite being in rural Northern Michigan, Munson Healthcare is really attracting bright, smart, talented physicians, not only in primary care, but in all specialties that want to be up here and serve this population. It’s the strength of the Munson Healthcare system with the awesomeness of Northern Michigan, so I think all those folks can feel privileged that we have such a great medical system up here,” said Dr. Rawlin.

Categories: MedWatch