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CVPH Family Medicine Residency Exceeding Expectations

2018 class will expand to six

"So far, this residency exceeds all of my expectations,” explained Stephen Winfield, MD, one of four Family Medicine Residents of the UVM Health Network – CVPH Family Medicine Residency.  A native of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Dr. Winfield said the quality of the people at CVPH, access to exceptional facilities, the community and the strong affiliation with the University of Vermont Medical Center have made his experience so far, exceptional.

As a member of the first class of Family Medicine residents at CVPH, he’s part of a Network-wide effort to improve access to primary care in the region. In 2013, CVPH joined with the University of Vermont Medical School and what was then Fletcher Allen Health Care (now the University of Vermont Medical Center) to build a residency program to help address the region’s chronic shortage of primary care providers (PCP).  As the role of the PCP continues to shift to the center of the new health care structure, the need for additional primary care providers grows.  That’s especially true in the North Country where the shortage will likely evolve into a crisis as the population ages and PCPs retire.

“Primary care providers are on the front line of health care and are often the best resource for managing a patient’s care, coordinating a variety of health care services and promoting their overall health and wellbeing,” said CVPH President & CEO Stephens Mundy.

Winfield and his fellow residents, Ashley Bernotas, MD, Therese Ray, MD and Aaron Esterson, MD, are midway through the first of three years in the program.  Ultimately, they will complete rotations in emergency medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, cardiology, orthopedics and behavioral health. They also see patients in the CVPH Family Medicine Center on Margaret Street in downtown Plattsburgh.

A Robust Experience

Dr. Winfield says it’s the personal attention he’s receiving as a resident that is creating this truly robust experience.  “We are with the attending all the time – there are no other residents – so we are not competing for their time,” Dr. Winfield explained. “The professional comradery and shared mission is evident and that helps in the learning process.”

Patient response to Dr. Winfield and his colleagues has been equally as positive. “There are good folk around here; they are hard working.  They understand what we are doing – that we are here to improve their health. They embrace it,” Winfield said

Family Medicine Residency to Expand

In 2018, the resident class size will increase from four to six thanks to a grant from New York State Department of Health. The $288,540 matching grant will support the expansion of the Residency by adding two additional spots in each class beginning next year. CVPH is one of 7 hospitals in upstate New York to receive funding to assist in the development of new Graduate Medical Education (GME) residency programs in the most rural parts of state.

“This grant is the result of the great work that’s been done to create an exceptional Family Medicine Residency. The Family Medicine Residency staff, our Medical Staff and the entire UVM Health Network is committed to providing our residents with a robust learning experience,” said Kent Hall, MD, CVPH Vice President Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer.

“Our Family Medicine Residency was created to help improve access to primary care in our region. Our primary goal is to provide our residents with an exceptional residency. And, we’re hopeful they’ll come to love this region as much as we do and decide to stay here to practice,” explained Mundy. He added that studies show 60% of residents decide to remain in the communities in which they complete their residency training. 


In Their Own Words: The First Class of Family Medicine Residents Talk About Their Experience