HealthQuest Stories

Patient Stories

View All

Subscribe to Our e-Newsletter

View All

The Be Well Podcast: Residency Program Information - Julie Merriam, DO

Julie Merriam, DO

With a multidisciplinary approach, Skagit Regional Health's Residency Program expertly develops primary care physicians for community practice. Residents will spend time caring for patients admitted to  Skagit Valley Hospital, in addition to outpatient clinical care at our  Family Medicine Residency Clinic or our  Internal Medicine Residency Clinic. Together with our clinical specialists and support services, we provide compassionate, comprehensive care to every patient. 

Faculty strive to help each resident find their special clinical interest in order to maximize individual growth. Supervision and mentoring are hallmarks of our program. Residents are also given additional responsibilities and opportunities as individual training and experience warrant. A qualified medical preceptor is always available for consultation and assistance to each of our residents.

Listen in or read from the partial transcript below as Julie Merriam, DO, Family Medicine Residency Program Director, provides a closer look at how  Skagit Regional Health's Residency Program benefits the local community.

Cheryl Martin (host): Skagit Regional Health is committed to excellence in training the next generation of physicians. Coming up a closer look at the medical residency program. This is Be Well with Skagit Regional Health. I'm Cheryl Martin. Joining me is Dr. Julie Merriam, the Family Medicine Residency Program Director. Welcome, Dr. Merriam.

Julie Merriam, DO: Thank you.

Cheryl Martin (host): Doctor, what is a medical residency program?

Julie Merriam, DO: Well, that's the clinical training for physicians who've just graduated from medical school and they've chosen a specialty field to go into. They're called resident physicians or resident doctors. And the name resident is interesting. It started years ago because the doctors actually lived in the hospital that they were working for.

Cheryl Martin (host): So what types of residencies are offered at Skagit Regional Health?

Julie Merriam, DO: We have a family medicine residency and also internal medicine residency here.

Cheryl Martin (host): And how long do residencies typically last?

Julie Merriam, DO: Well, both family medicine and internal medicine are three year programs, but that's not true for every specialty. Some are a little longer than that, depending on the specialty. Typically, the primary care residencies are the shortest. And after residency, the doctors have an option to go on for fellowship training, which adds another year or more.

Cheryl Martin (host): So what are the benefits to the community of Skagit Regional Health offering a residency program?

Julie Merriam, DO: Well, teaching in a residency program really helps to keep all the current physicians up to date on the latest medical information and they really, a lot of times, look things up. If they're trying to explain things to a new physician this can be really fun and sometimes challenging. When we're looking up the latest medical research or reading recent articles together with the trainees we do that a lot when we have patients with really complex needs.

It's a great way to give back to the medical community and recognize that other physicians have trained all of us. It's really rewarding for both physicians and staff when we see our residency graduates working in our community and knowing that we were a small part of their training.

Cheryl Martin (host): And how many residents will you typically take a year?

Julie Merriam, DO: We take four every year in the family medicine program, so we have a total of 12 since it's a three-year training. And in our internal medicine program, we take six per year for a total of 18.

To listen to the podcast or read the full transcript, visit here.