Sierra View welcomes 16 residents to first-ever internal medicine residency program

The inaugural cohort of Sierra View Medical Center’s accredited and community based Internal Medicine Residency Program officially began July 2021, marking a historical moment for the hospital.

“This is a legacy program that was developed with a goal to provide a succession plan for the medical staff of the Sierra View Local Healthcare District and the central valley region,” said VP of Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive and Chief Academic Officer & Founding Designated Institutional Officer, Dr. Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, DNP, RN, NEA-BC. “This is an opportunity for those that have completed medical school and grew up in the local and regional area, to complete their internal medicine residency program in their own community. For those residents that come from other parts of the United States and globally, this program gives them the ability to be exposed to the Central Valley where they may choose to remain after completing their three-year residency program.”

The Sierra View Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program, offered through the Graduate Medical Education Program, was initially accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in September 2020. Shortly after the program was accredited, the application process of finding the very first cohort began and nearly 1,500 applications were received. From there, the process of ranking candidates for the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) took place and results were given in March. By the end of June, 16 residents were settling-in to get started in July to embark on their next step in their careers.

Residents will spend much of their time over the three years working on the medical floors with internists, hospitalists, intensivists, and other sub-specialists. Residents will do rotations in the major internal medicine sub-specialties both in the hospital and in private local offices. They will also spend much of their time with primary care experience in an outpatient setting. Residents will also participate in quality improvement projects during their residency, as well as a month of Emergency Medicine working in the SVMC Emergency Department and spend some time on projects involving personal interest.

SVMC Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, DR. Paul Watanakunakorn MD, explains that this residency training enables residents to translate the knowledge that they have gained throughout medical school and put it into practical application, all while enriching our community and the future of healthcare in this region.

“The needs of this community are so great, and the opportunities to improve the health outcomes and enrich the lives of this community are tremendous,” adds SVMC Internal Medicine Residency Program Director, DR. Paul Watanakunakorn MD. “I hope that the residency program will truly be an asset to this area in such a way that improves the health of the community; and not by just training future physicians to practice here, but also by connecting with the community and providing access points to healthcare needs.”

Sierra View Medical Center is a proud academic teaching community hospital and Dr. Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, DNP, gives accolades to the medical staff, Sierra View Local Health Care District Board of Directors, hospital administrators, healthcare business partners, and the community, for supporting the vision and complexity of adding academic rigor to the community hospital setting. Dr. Paul Watanakunakorn, MD agrees and adds, “The support here amongst the administration and the hospital staff has been tremendous, and I think they both shared my eager anticipation of this becoming a reality. It is humbling that I have been able to be a part of the legacy; and being a part of the start of medical education and residency training at Sierra View Medical Center; and of what that can mean for the future health of this community.”

July 2021, has been the bequest date that SVMC admitted the inaugural class of 16 residents. By 2023, there will be a total of 36 internal medicine and four transition year residents. Sierra View Medical Center is thrilled to share this news and looks forward to what the future holds for this program and for the SVMC Internal Medicine Residents who are the future of healthcare. For additional information about Sierra View’s GME Program, visit https://www.sierra-view.com/gme-program/.

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