Liz McCormick Published

Rural Residency Program For Internal Medicine Coming To Marshall

A nurse practitioner wearing a stethoscope and a blue uniform as she writes notes in a health ledger.iStockphoto

A new federal grant is expected to support a three-year, rural internal medicine residency program aimed at improving the needs of rural communities in Appalachia.

Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Holzer Health System in Gallipolis, Ohio, are collaborating on a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. 

“Since first partnering with Holzer to establish a family medicine residency in 2017,” said Dr. Paulette S. Wehner, vice dean of graduate medical education at the School of Medicine. “We look forward to using our expertise to build a rural internal medicine residency that will provide a high-caliber training experience and retain graduates to serve as primary care physicians for our area.” 

The new grant, which is going to the Marshall Community Health Consortium — composed of the Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall Health, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Valley Health Systems — will focus on creating a pipeline of primary care physicians trained specifically to care for patients in rural areas. 

Internal medicine residents will conduct their first year of training in Huntington and their final two years at Holzer Health System. 

According to a press release, this model allows trainees to learn firsthand how to address health care barriers in rural areas and treat a wide range of conditions they are likely to experience in practice.

The consortium is expected to work toward achieving initial accreditation in 2025 and welcome its first residents in July 2026.

The Appalachian Regional Commission reports the number of primary care physicians in Appalachia is 21 percent below the national average. That rate jumps to 40 percent below the national average in distressed Appalachian counties. 

For more information, call the Office of Graduate Medical Education at the Edwards School of Medicine at 304-691-1823.