Montana Graduate Medical Education Council

Created in 2011 to increase the physician workforce in Montana by developing an infrastructure to support Residency Graduate Medical Education (GME).


To improve the healthcare of Montanans by building the state’s physician workforce, through the identification of approaches to support, advocate and grow Graduate Medical Education within Montana. 

Council Responsibilities:

  • Track, measure and make recommendations regarding the physician workforce and MT GME needs
  • Help coordinate new MT GME development
  • Seek financial support to sustain and expand MT GME
  • Work with GME programs to maintaining high quality GME experiences
  • Advocate and effectively communicate the value and benefits of a robust MT GME effort

Physician Workforce Issues

  • Shortage: The Montana Primary Care Office reports that 52 of the 56 counties in Montana are designated as Primary Care Health Professions Shortage Areas.
  • Maldistribution: Physician location data indicates 75.79% of Montana physicians practice in the seven largest communities. This maldistribution is a significant problem. Only 35% of Montana’s population lives in these seven communities, while 65% of the state population lives outside these locations.
  • Aging workforce: 31.2% of Montana physicians are over the age of 60—the 3rd oldest physician workforce in the nation.


Educational Pipeline to Become a Physician



Residency Programs in Montana



GME Council Membership

Montana GME Council Executive Committee members are Jay Erickson, MD, Past Chair, WWAMI; Barry Kenfield, Chair, WMT-AHEC; Michael Bush, MD, Vice Chair, St. Vincent Healthcare; and Jean Branscum, Secretary/Treasurer, MMA.

Additional members are: Suzanne Allen, MD, WWAMI; Mark Lee, MD, Billings Internal Medicine Residency; Jim Guyer, MD/Roxanne Fahrenwald, MD, Montana Family Medicine Residency; Julie Kelso, MD, University of Washington Psychiatry Residency Program- Montana Track at Billings Clinic; Reed Humphrey, PhD, UM; Kristin Juliar, MT AHEC; Joe Thiel, OCHE; Cindy Stergar, MT Primary Care Association; Kathy Jutila, MD, MSU; Martin Teintze, PhD, MT WWAMI; Ned Vasquez, MD, Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana; Dick Brown, MHA; Joyce Dombrouski, RN, St. Patrick Hospital; David Lechner, MD, Community Medical Center; Virginia Mohl, MD, Billings Clinic; Pat Wilson, RN, Kalispell Regional Healthcare; Brandy Kincheloe, Primary Care Office; and Greg Holzman, MD, State Medical Officer.

Administrative support and coordination for the Council is provided by Cindra Stahl with Montana Office of Rural Health & AHEC.