First Class of Residents Set to Graduate from the Family Medicine Residency Program on June 25

[An art installation depicting the nuns to whom St. Joseph Hospital and Providence attribute their namesake.  Photo by Ryan Hutson, August 17, 2021]

Press release from Providence St. Joseph Hospital:

Five physicians will graduate from the Providence St. | Joseph Hospital Eureka Family Medicine Residency Program on Saturday, June 25. This is the inaugural graduating class to complete the program.

In July 2019, the program was launched in response to the shortage of primary care physicians in our community. Hospital leadership and community stakeholders advocated for a training program that would grow the next generation of family medicine physicians in Humboldt County. A medical training alliance between Providence St. Joseph Hospital and Open Door Community Health Centers, the program focuses on holistic primary care, with an emphasis on rural family medicine.

“The goal of this program since its inception, is to recruit and train medical school graduates to specialize in rural family medicine,” said May Hong, MD, program director for the Family Medicine Residency Program. “Through our collaboration with Open Door, Providence Medical Group physicians, independent providers, and the entire residency program physician staff, our new graduates have received excellent training focused on providing mission-driven care for a broad range of patients. It has been an absolute joy to see their growth as physicians.”

Each year the Family Medicine Residency Program accepts six medical school graduates into the three-year program of training in a variety of family medicine roles with an emphasis on rural health care. The program has benefitted from substantial philanthropic support from the community that was used for program development from 2017 through June 2019, creation of the Premier Center Residency Conference Room and Lounge; and investments in the program which supplemented the hospital’s budget for the salaries of residents, administrative team and faculty, and infrastructure, since its launch in 2019. The program has been supported with over $4 million in grants and local philanthropy.

This year’s graduates are Sean Purtell, MD, Zachary Nankee, DO, Nicole Kashani, MD, Margot Oliver, MD, and Anirudh Rai, MD Dr. Purtell will continue serving Humboldt County patients in the future as a hospitalist for St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka and Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna.

“Practicing medicine in Humboldt County was a goal for my wife and I had long before knowing about our program,” said Dr. Purtell. “Developing such a strong foundation and training under our world-class physicians has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I feel very fortunate and humbled that I am able to continue working as a member of this community and I look forward to the years ahead here.”


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