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ISU-PMC partnership continues its goal of training new Idaho doctors


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POCATELLO — A recent donation to Idaho State University’s Family Medicine Residency program puts Portneuf Medical Center’s investment in the program at $4.5 million since 2018.

Brandon Mickelsen, MD, the director of the program, said in a news release that PMC’s continued support has made the program one of the premier such programs in the country.

“We at Portneuf love the Bengals,” PMC CEO Jordan Herget said in the release. “We believe in fostering and growing local talent, and this partnership is that and so much more.”

ISU’s family medicine department currently trains 22 family medicine residents in Pocatello and two in the Rexburg Rural Training Track annually.

Bill Woodhouse, MD, a clinical professor in the program, said in the release that where a family physician completes their training “strongly influences” where they choose to practice. This is important, he said, because Idaho currently ranks 49th in number of primary care doctors per capita.

The program will also use support from PMC and a partnership with the University of Utah to train three psychiatrists annually. Idaho, Woodhouse said, currently has about five psychiatrists per every 100,000 residents — the national recommendation is 47 per 100,000, he said.

Physicians and staff dedicate around 8,000 volunteer hours annually to assist in ISU resident training, Idaho State Vice President for Health Sciences Rex Force said in the release.

One of those volunteers, registered nurse Keri Knudson, was selected by ISU students as the Health Sciences Preceptor of the Month in May, according to a release from PMC.

The selection is based on a set of criteria, including leadership, honesty and communication.

“Portneuf Medical Center is proud to have one of our nurses recognized by the ISU KDHS. As a teaching hospital, Portneuf is committed to raising the bar in healthcare while also raising the next generation of leaders and health care professionals,” Herget said.