Caring for communities in the Pacific Northwest
A community-based residency serving, and training to serve, the primary care needs of Northwest Washington.
From the Program Director
Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency is the realization of my professional aspirations both as an educator and as a physician. With the support of CHI Franciscan Health’s Harrison Medical Center, the Harrison Foundation, the state of Washington, and the greater Kitsap Peninsula community, my team has been afforded a unique opportunity to create a program that embodies a very specific vision of what it means to be family physicians, to train family physicians, and to provide services to populations otherwise vulnerable to deficiencies in our current national health care environment.
Family physicians care for patients from birth through the end of life. We establish relationships that engender trust such that our patients can be honest with us, and we can be honest with them. We care for them in clinics, in hospitals, in assisted care facilities, on the sideline at sporting events, and in their homes. We work days, nights, weekends, holidays; and it is not uncommon to miss personal/family milestones to provide this care. Faculty at NWFMR strives at all times to model the dedication required to be a family physician.
Residency training is a necessary step for transforming medical school graduates into trained physicians capable of delivering care independently. Our faculty physicians are superior clinicians and effective teachers. All are dedicated to providing a supportive environment in which residents assume graduated levels of responsibility providing compassionate and evidence-based care for patients within the Kitsap community. Safety is paramount, but also it is necessary for residents to develop a realistic view of their strengths and growth areas. Through a process of frequent evaluation and feedback by faculty, will provide the structure around which residents construct a professional identity that includes ongoing self-evaluation, professional patient/peer interactions, community involvement and appropriate self-care.
The spark igniting interest in creating a residency program here in Bremerton was a needs assessment performed by CHI Franciscan Health’s Harrison Medical Center demonstrating a looming deficit in numbers of primary care physicians in the region. "Homegrowing" our own family physicians seemed a rational way to approach this deficit. Additionally, our faculty is keenly aware of health care disparities that can be addressed by a community-involved training program. Enhanced training in mental health, enhanced training in the needs of the LGBT population, enhanced training in sports medicine, and enhanced training in addiction medicine are key in our plans for training. Community partners including Peninsula Community Health Services, Kitsap Mental Health Services, Kitsap Recovery Center, Harrison Health Partners Endocrinology Clinic, Central Kitsap School District, and the Kitsap County Drug Court treatment program will be instrumental for teaching family physicians to employ advanced clinical skills for the benefit of our community.
As we move forward into recruitment/interview season for our first class of interns to begin in the summer of 2018, our goal is to select a group of high-quality, diverse applicants who are in alignment with our program goals. This first class will be in the enviable position of having a 1:1 faculty to resident ratio during their internship; and they will be essential for evaluation and course correction of our program curricula/policies. Our Frequently Asked Questions page is available to answer common questions and I am more than willing to answer any questions that may not be addressed there.
Michael Watson, MD, FAAFP
Founding Program Director