Alaska Family Medicine Residency’s purpose is to help residents become physicians, fulfilled through their investment in their patients and communities, proud to provide the best care to all their patients and committed to a lifelong career of service and learning.
The residency is for all students who have an interest in rural, full-scope practice with culturally diverse and underserved patients and are drawn to working in a limited resource environment. Residents primarily provide care within the Providence Family Medicine Center in Anchorage.
Our curriculum was designed to meet the needs of family physicians that practice in remote and isolated Alaskan communities. Alaska’s rural communities differ greatly from many rural communities of the Lower 48 states and our areas of emphasis reflect this. We encourage our residents to think freely so they will feel comfortable managing patients without rapid specialist access other than by telephone.
Graduates of the residency program are trained to be competent to work in isolated low-resource environments using a solid foundation of medical knowledge, diverse skills and thorough understanding of the health care system and community needs.
Residency faculty, who all have longstanding experience with the Alaskan rural and urban needs, continually revise and improve the curriculum based on the needs and input of the residents. The close faculty/resident relationship has helped to maximize resident learning while minimizing those parts of the curriculum that are ineffective in meeting their goals. Faculty hold themselves to the same high standards that are set for the residents, within a supportive, creative and fun learning atmosphere.
Alaska was the last state in the United States to have a residency program. There is only one residency program in Alaska – the Alaska Family Medicine Residency. It was developed in the 1990s by a consortium of state leaders with the intent to train family physicians for the unique aspects of practice in the most remote parts of the state; the residency has been affiliated with the University of Washington since its inception. The residency provides rigorous training to help prepare our residents to practice in any challenging setting, but particularly rural settings.
Residents receive extra training in rural settings, emergency medicine, orthopedics, obstetrics, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care and trans-cultural medicine to prepare them for the unique challenges of bush practice.