My rotation in Silver City, New Mexico at Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) Family Medicine Residency rural training track was an excellent experience and I will always cherish my time there! I truly enjoyed learning about the residency program, seeing patients, and learning from the residents and attending physicians. I was able to see patients, do procedures, and even watch a delivery.
Knowledgeable and welcoming staff
Upon my arrival I was met by the Rebekka VanNess, HMS Workforce Specialist, who was kind enough to meet me on a weekend. I was able to stay in a wonderful student apartment they had recently constructed and made available for students who were on rotation there. I felt extremely welcome!
During my rotation, I spent much of my time with Dr. John Stanley, who is an excellent teacher and full of knowledge on small town family medicine. He had been practicing in Silver City for many years in private practice before joining the residency program to train more rural physicians. It was the perfect opportunity to learn from a small town doctor and was exactly what I was looking for in a rural experience, as well as a residency program. I was also able to work with other faculty, as well as the residents, who were outstanding teachers and encouraged me to read and learn as I saw my patients.
Tamera Ahner, the program’s education coordinator, was also an important part of my rotation and my interaction with the residency program. Her enthusiasm for the program was infectious and exciting! Program Director, Dr. Darrick Nelson, and all the other faculty members truly made this rotation one of a kind. The attending physicians took the time to teach me and took interest in my education.
Rural community with a hometown feel
While in Silver City, I was also able to explore the area, go hiking, went to a Horse Show, and did some volunteer work. The community had that hometown feel to it as soon as I arrived. It felt like a place where I could see myself and my husband living for my residency training and even staying in long-term after the completion of my training.
Although my husband was unable to attend the rotation and interview that occurred during my rotation, I felt it incredibly important for him to visit Silver City as I knew I would rank the program highly in my match list. On our way to another interview, my husband and I were able to re-visit HMS. Even though we were not able to give much notice to the program, they welcomed us and we were able to attend a clinic lunch where my husband met the clinic faculty and staff. After only a few hours of visiting the clinic and driving around the town, my husband said he felt the same love and support from the program and community as I had.
Although the program was an excellent fit for me and my career goals, ultimately I ended up matching in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho which is an excellent program. I know Silver City is going to be an excellent rural training track and I know I would have received excellent training there! I will always look back on this experience and consider it one of my fondest memories from medical school.