State medical education leaders say graduate medical education programs are one way to attract a strong physician work force throughout the state. In Southwest Virginia, Carilion and others have sought to establish more of these programs as they look to attract more doctors to the region, and in particular to medically underserved areas. It's just one part of a larger effort to get ahead of an anticipated shortage of physicians in the next two decades.
Along with Carilion, the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine has also recently established medical residency programs in the region. Along with working with Carilion, Blacksurg-based VCOM also has reached out to HCA Southwest Virginia to bring residents to Montgomery Regional Hospital.