Good Sam receives orthopedic surgery residency approval

Apr 30,2009
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center has received approval of a new osteopathic orthopedic surgery training program for 10 residents from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Resident physicians in orthopedic surgery will begin their training at Good Samaritan in the summer of 2010.

The recent approval of the osteopathic orthopedic surgery residency marks Samaritan Health Services’ increasing commitment to the field of medical education. In May 2008, Good Sam received approval of osteopathic training programs in psychiatry, family practice and internal medicine for a total of 26 residents to matriculate over the coming years. With the approval of the orthopedic surgery program, the residency programs will have approval for 36 osteopathic residency positions.

As health care continues to experience an increasing shortage of qualified professionals, especially physicians, the provision of postdoctoral training in local communities could help offset the shortage experienced.

“There is a strong link between where physicians do their training and where they end up practicing medicine, so we believe these steps will greatly strengthen our ability to recruit and retain outstanding physicians to the area,” said Samaritan Health Services President and CEO Larry Mullins. “Most of the medical students here now are from the Pacific Northwest, and they encouraged us to establish residency programs so they can stay in this area after medical school.”

The postdoctoral training programs in family practice, internal medicine, psychiatry and orthopedic surgery at Good Sam mark the onset of the only osteopathic residency programs in Oregon (Allopathic residency programs exist in Portland and Klamath Falls).

One might ask, what is the difference between an osteopathic and allopathic physician? According to the AOA, osteopathic training differs from allopathic training, as osteopathic physicians practice a "whole person" approach to medicine, regarding the body as an integrated whole rather than just treating specific symptoms or illnesses. Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive health care and receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, the body's interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones that make up two-thirds a body’s mass.