Talented and dedicated providers are at the heart of Virginia Garcia’s commitment to providing patients with high quality, culturally appropriate care. Recognizing the importance of cultivating providers within the community health center environment, Virginia Garcia created a residency program to train new doctors in 2012.

The program is a unique opportunity to recruit and retain family medicine physicians in community-based practice. Virginia Garcia is one of only six community health centers in the country partnering with The Wright Center and A.T. Still University to train medical residents in community-based family medicine as a primary care specialty.

The new program is a model for residency programs across the country in that it addresses two of the nation’s most pressing healthcare challenges — the shortage of primary care physicians trained to work with America’s most vulnerable populations and the potential changes in federal funding which may leave thousands of new doctors without a place to complete their training.

The program’s objective is to create a pipeline of doctors trained to work with underserved rural and urban populations and in team-based practices that emphasize keeping entire communities healthy. With research showing that new doctors tend to practice in the communities where they have done their residencies, there is a glaring need to create opportunities for residents to train in these communities.

Each class has two residents who receive outpatient training at Virginia Garcia’s Hillsboro Clinic and inpatient training at Legacy and Kaiser Permanente.