Hood River medical residency training program improves patient access in the gorge

April 19, 2013

Four new physicians, improved health care for the poor and vulnerable and an emphasis on access to primary care are all part of an exciting new program beginning in the Columbia Gorge this summer.

In partnership with La Clinica, now One Community Health, a rural-track residency program will begin in the Columbia Gorge this summer. The residents, physicians who have completed medical school, will start their training in Portland and spend the most of their first year rotating at three Providence hospitals in Portland and Legacy’s Randall Children’s Hospital. In order to become acquainted with One Community Health and the Hood River community, the residents will see patients in Hood River a few days per month.

In 2014, as second-year residents, they will move to Hood River for the next two years of training and care for their own patients under the supervision of One Community Health and site director Robert Gobbo, M.D. Patients will be seen at One Community Health, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and other community clinics.

Each year, two new residents will be matched with this program. By 2015, our community will sponsor a total of four residents. “This is a win-win: Not only will we be able to improve access for poor and vulnerable patients, our training will focus on emphasizing culturally-competent care that is crucial for future health care providers who have an interest in rural medicine,” said Ed Freysinger, chief executive of Providence in the Columbia Gorge Service area.

Rural training graduate medical training programs are designed to train health care professionals who have completed medical school, in environments and with patient populations that are more representative of the communities and patients they will serve and provide a broader and more comprehensive program under mentorship from community physicians.

Providence Health & Services offers three other residency training programs at Providence Milwaukie Hospital, Providence St. Vincent and Providence Portland medical centers.

“I look forward to my new role as the lead faculty for this residency program and returning to caring for patients in Hood River this summer. The physician support in our community for this program has been tremendous. We will be introducing the selected residents for the rural track to the community later this spring,” said Robert Gobbo, M.D., who has been a faculty member of Providence Family Medicine Faculty for the past nine years.