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. 

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

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
 Residency Program
Number of Residents

Montana Family Medicine Residency



24 residents / 8 per class

Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana 

Missoula & Kalispell
30 residents / 10 per class

Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency

24 residents / 8 per class                                                                        

University of Washington Psychiatry Residency Program, Montana Track at Billings Clinic

12  residents / 3 per class 


Voting Members

Garth Brand       Montana Family Medicine Residency Kailyn Mock MT AHEC/Office of Rural Health
Rob Stenger Family Medicine Residency of Western MT TBD                           Montana Hospital Association
Steve Gerstner                                     Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Jean Bransum Montana Medical Association
Jared Bozeman UW Psychiatry Residency Program-MT  Track Cindy Stergar Montana Primary Care Association
Michael Bush St. Vincent Healthcare Jay Erickson                    WWAMI Asst. Dean Regional Affiars, MT  Clinical Coordinator
Kirk Bodlovich                               Providence St. Patrick Hospital Joe Thiel Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
Bob Gomes Community Medical Center Steve Todd Critical Access Hospital
Virginia Mohl Billings Clinic TBD Community Health Center
Adam Smith Kalispell Regional Medical Center    

Non-Voting Members

Suzanne Allen UW WWAMI Representative Maggie Cook-Shimanek (acting) Montana State Medical Office
Martin Teintze Montana State University Annalee Venneri Montana Primary Care Office
Reed Humphrey University of Montana Steven Williamson IHS Representative
Barry Kenfield Public Member  Mike Spinelli VA Representative


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



Cindra Stahl