Our History

The Montana Family Medicine Residency (MFMR) was founded in 1995 to help meet Montana’s shortage of primary care physicians. Since then, MFMR has established a solid track record for training physicians to meet the challenges of practicing in rural and underserved areas and nearly 70 percent of MFMR graduates now practice in Montana. While some residents grew up in the state, most are transplants who chose to make their home in Montana. Opportunities range from small-town to urban practice including full-spectrum private practice, hospitalist, residency faculty and more.

Over the years, we have developed strong partnerships with staff at both Billings hospitals and with rural physicians committed to mentoring the next generation of doctors. With 24 total residency slots, MFMR is large enough to offer a variety of experiences, yet small enough to retain strong mentoring relationships and friendships.

As the first residency program in Montana, MFMR helped develop the model, prove its success, and spur the development of two new primary care residency programs launched in Montana in 2013 and 2014. 

The residency is fully integrated into RiverStone Health, which provides both medical health services through RiverStone Health Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center, other patient care services such as home care and hospice, support and case management services to young families, and multiple public health services to Yellowstone County, the state’s most populous county (pop. 154,162).

Montana’s large size and total population of just over one million residents creates an insatiable demand for family physicians. Forty-five of Montana’s 56 counties are considered “frontier,” with six or fewer people per square mile. Nearly half of Montanans live in rural areas.  Nine counties in Montana are without any physician. Twelve have no primary care physician. Seven counties are without a hospital. (Montana Primary Care /October 2013)

Since our founding more than 20 years ago, we have remained steadfast in our mission to train full-spectrum family physicians to work in low resource environments, in rural and urban communities throughout the state.