The Kootenai Clinic Family Medicine Residency program graduates six doctors every year.
Thirty new physicians have graduated from the program since its 2014 inception. Of those graduates, 21 are presently practicing in Idaho. All but two of those doctors are continuing their careers in the Idaho Panhandle.
“It’s part of growing better health care for our families who live in northern Idaho,” residency director Richard McLandress, M.D., said.
A longtime local physician, Dr. McLandress mentors resident doctors who spend three years gaining hands-on experience at Kootenai Health. Eight faculty physicians also lend their expertise to the residents.
Resident doctors begin their education in hospital medicine and pediatrics. They expand into emergency medicine, oncology, outpatient care and several subspecialties.
Their training includes an integral part of living in Idaho – the great outdoors. Wilderness medicine is built into this program so Kootenai Health-trained doctors know what to do in cases of hypothermia, drowning, avalanche and other scenarios when emergency assistance is not immediately available.
“Our residents learn to provide care for all the things you can dream of that can happen out there,” Dr. McLandress said.
The residency program also includes a chronic pain and opioid addiction program.
“We’ve developed specific programs that engage the underserved,” Dr. McLandress said.
Residents build relationships with American Indian patients, as well. Once a week, residents work at Coeur d’Alene Tribe-owned Marimn Health and Wellness Center in Plummer, Idaho, where 2018 Kootenai Clinic Family Medicine Residency graduate Kate Aguirre, M.D., is a full-time physician.
“We’re growing a new relationship with Marimn Health so Kootenai Health can be directly engaged with their patients’ care, which is a specific demographic, highly in need,” Dr. McLandress said.
The Kootenai Clinic Family Medicine Residency will be welcoming class of 2025 in June. Below is a list of residents from the class of 2024. You might see them in both the clinic setting and hospital setting.
Bill Thurston, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine
Maggie Brown, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine
Jordan Doerr, M.D., St. Louis University School of Medicine
Eliessa Bell, M.D., Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Taylor Wilkinson, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine
Rachel Fennema, D.O., Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
Looking for a physician for you and your family? Consider Kootenai Health Family Medicine Residency doctors. Visit kh.org/family-medicine to make an appointment today.