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 Location Established Number of Residents

Montana Family Medicine Residency



24 residents / 8 per class

Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana 

Missoula & Kalispell 2013 30 residents / 10 per class

Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency

Billings 2014 24 residents / 8 per class                                                                        

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

Billings 2019 12  residents / 3 per class 


Voting Members

Jim Guyer /
Roxanne Fahrenwald      
Montana Family Medicine Residency Kristin Juliar   MT AHEC/Office of Rural Health
Rob Stenger Family Medicine Residency of Western MT Rich Rasmussen                           Montana Hospital Association
Mark Lee                                     Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Jean Bransum Montana Medical Association
Julie Kelso 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
Joyce Dombrouski                               Providence St. Patrick Hospital Joe Thiel Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
David Lechnar Community Medical Center Steve Todd Critical Access Hospital
Virginia Mohl Billings Clinic Laurie Francis Community Health Center
Doug Nelson  Kalispell Regional Medical Center    

Non-Voting Members

Suzanne Allen UW WWAMI Representative Greg Holzman Montana State Medical Office
Charlotte Jutila Montana State University Brandy Kincheloe Montana Primary Care Office
Reed Humphrey University of Montana Steven Williamson IHS Representative
Barry Kenfield Western MT AHEC Bronson White VA Respresentative
Martin Teintze MT WWAMI Director TBD Public Member Respresentative


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



Cindra Stahl