Clinical Rotation - Great Falls

Clinical Rotation - Great Falls

Regional Site Staff

Paul Johnson.jpg

Regional Assistant Dean:
Paul Johnson, MD
PaulJohnson@benefis.org
443.889.7177

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Regional Site Administrator:
Virginia Vyllymaki
VirginiaMyllymaki@benefis.org
406.788.2911
406.455.3073 (office)

Demographic Information

Fitness/recreation areas available in the region:
Benefis has an employee gym/wellness center at both campuses - FREE to students! There is also a huge health and wellness facility in town, The Peak; with tons of classes, 3 pools, etc. that requires a membership.  Easy access to Glacier Park (can be done in a day), great inexpensive skiing within an hour, world-class skiing within 4 hours, world-class fly fishing within 20 minutes, single track mountain bike trails in town, river trail with 50+ miles of paved paths for running, walking and biking, kayaking, boating, floating, and paddle board opportunities right in town. Average of 300 days of blue skies.

Housing:
Housing is nice and inexpensive at a new apartment complex just down the street from the hospital (Talus). House rentals can be competitive due to Military Base in town, but Erica can assist in helping you find a good rental as she has many leads from community members looking to rent homes - all previous students have been happy with various housing situations.

Length of time region has been training with PNWU students:
Since PNWU was established as a medical school.

Preceptor/Rotation Information

4th year electives that have been successful in this region depending on availability:   

  • ICU
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Pulmonology
  • Hematology Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Infectious Disease
  • PM&R
  • Wound Care
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hospice
  • Palliative Care
  • Anesthesia
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Sports Medicine
  • ENT
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Trauma
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Pediatrics – Inpatient and Outpatient
  • Podiatry
  • OB/GYN
  • Perinatology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Urology
  • Bariatrics
  • Interventional Pain
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatry
  • NICU
  • General Cardiology
  • Interventional Cardiology

Number of preceptors credentialed with PNWU to teach CORE rotations:  15-20

D.O. preceptors in the region (approx.):  25-30%

M.D. preceptors in the region (approx.):  70-75%

Rotations that provide inpatient experience:

  • Pediatrics
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • ICU
  • Pulmonology
  • Gastroenterology
  • OB/GYN
  • NICU
  • General Cardiology
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • General Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Palliative Care
  • Infectious Disease
  • PM&R
  • Interventional Radiology

Rotations challenges in the region based on availability:
We do not current have any residency programs, so the residency rotation requirements are done outside of region, sometimes in Billings or Kalispell, sometimes out of state in Idaho or Washington. These rotations are typically 4 weeks.  Previously OMM was completed in Missoula, but we recently have hired some new physicians who are interested in teaching OMM onsite.

Do students/learners from other schools rotate in the region? >
Yes, we have students from multiple medical schools rotating within our health system.

Is there integration of other schools with PNWU students?
At times, but not normally. PNWU students typically have full attention of preceptors.

Residencies available in the region that PNWU students are involved in (didactics, rotations, etc.):
No - students have gone to Billings and Kalispell in the past as a preferred location, but also have gone to Washington and Idaho.

Opportunities to practice OMM:
The OMM onsite opportunities previously at Benefis were supported by a physician who is currently in the process of slowing down his practice although he will agree to supervise student clinics if there is specific interest to offer free services to our health system employees.  We have hired a new physician starting Summer 2019 who will have an OMM sports medicine / family practice clinic and we believe this will offer PNWU students additional opportunity to practice OMM onsite.

Didactics Information

Didactic Information:
Formal didactics are typically one day per week, 60-120 minutes. Combination of lectures, talks, and PowerPoints from all sub specialties.

Other learning opportunities in addition to PNWU didactics include:
Many other opportunities to learn and grow in preparation for boards and residency including: Grand Rounds, Onsite Conferences, State ACP Conferences, and nightly Dean's Questions.

Core (3rd year) rotations available within driving distance (1 hour or 50 miles) of the didactics site?
No

Additional Information

Region strengths:
Benefis is one of the largest hospitals in Montana and has the largest ER in the state. Catchment of 275,000 people from surrounding areas are utilizing our level 2 trauma center.  Very sick patient population. Friendly patient population. Plenty of sub-specialty rotations for 4th year.  Cost of living is inexpensive. Community is centrally located, close to both Glacier and Yellowstone Parks. Dedicated Dean who is extremely invested in students’ success.  https://www.benefis.org/

Why might a student choose this region over another:
Excellent clinical education with a rigorous curriculum. A very dedicated dean who will absolutely help you be prepared for boards and for residency.  Young preceptors who are up-to-date on current practices and who provide hands on rotations with great opportunity for one on one teaching. No residents to compete with. Patients are nice and typically very open to medical students. Central location in the state with very little travel required. Airport 15 minutes from the hospital with direct flights to: Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago (summer only), Seattle, Salt Lake, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Student/Resident Information:
Number of OMS3 Students Rotating in Region:   6
Number of OMS4 Students Rotating in Region:   3
Alumni in Residency Programs (Montana totals):   7
Alumni practicing in the regions (Montana totals):   5
% of PNWU-COM matriculations from regions (Montana totals):   5.0%

Additional information:
"Probably one of the best sites at PNWU. A hidden gem!"  "I think we have a really strong site.  We do not have to travel a lot and we have strong preceptors and an incredible dean who have all made us extremely successful and have truly shown their investment in us.  It’s a good place to be!"/p>