St. Mary's Medical Center Family Medicine Residency

Graduate Testimonials

A letter from Dr. Ryan Jackman, a graduate completing an Addiction Medicine Fellowship in Denver, CO

"Thank You" is probably not enough to tell you how grateful I am for the environment at the residency. As I look back at who I was before residency and who I have become over the past 3 years I am humbled, grateful and amazed.

Med School was an experience to say the least, and I did wonder if it had changed my fun loving self and sense of humor for the worse, but then I came to Grand Junction and a residency that felt more like family than work and I began to find myself again. Thank you for showing me how much fun medicine can be while helping me to take care of what is most important to me - my faith and family! Thank you for teaching medicine in a way that is memorable and not daunting. Not only have I survived the system and the process, but I've learned how to learn and enjoy this job. Than you for trusting me and my opinion, and for mentoring me along the way. Most of all thank you for being a friend. I am proud to be one of your residents.

A letter from Jennifer Surber, a graduate in Rifle, CO (population 4,636)

Thanks for everything!

It was odd saying goodbye to people last night at Graduation, not really as definitive as I'd imagined. But maybe that is a good thing.

I want you all to know that you are so appreciated. Each of you have fantastically unique personalities, areas of expertise, and special types of wisdom to share. I wanted to say thanks to you for being solid in your dedication to mentoring and remaining available to us residents. So - get away once in a while and recharge--because we need you! You are this residency! You are invaluable.

I also hope that you enjoyed our class as much as we did. We are proud of ourselves for what we valued, what we accomplished and for being privileged now to go out and represent this program to the world. While perhaps none of us were exemplary 100% of the time, I think we all feel like we were a dedicated class who worked well together and who respected the program and tried to uphold its strong reputation.

So I may call you one day with an absurd question, a tale of 'medical adventure' that makes you cringe or sigh in relief at a close call, but know that it is you all who gave me this daring and courage to go out and PRACTICE medicine as best I can. And I will work hard to keep learning, keep caring, and live up to your expectations as well as my own.

Thank you, and not so much good-bye!

A conversation with Rob Anderson, a graduate in Polacca, AZ (population 1108)

"For the most part everything in my world has been going pretty well. The job is good even if it is a little challenging from time to time. I feel as though I have had superb training for the job that I am doing. Although every once in a while I feel as though I am encountering something that I haven't before, I can't imagine a more comprehensive training program than the residency. I am thankful and grateful to everyone there. The people within the residency really make it what it is. I am thankful for the care that was given on so many different levels.

I appreciate the broad spectrum approach to medicine that allows for the health of the physician itself. All of the precepting physicians have lives outside of medicine and understand the need for this in order to maintain a realistic perspective on medicine. The cool thing is that the preceptors maintain compassion and phenomenal clinical skills. This definitely trickles down to the residents.

The residents at the program tend to be a great group of down to earth physicians who want to make profound differences in the world. Without a doubt they are some of the most beautiful people that I have ever met. The process of learning skills in residency on the road to becoming a better physician can be fraught with peril...the residency did a fantastic job at recognizing that the process must be tempered by "humanness".

I can't imagine doing residency training in a more beautiful setting than the Western Slope of Colorado. There are so many fantastic things to do. The mountain biking, skiing, hiking, camping, and climbing are world class. The scope of training was extraordinarily broad spectrum. I was able to do some appendectomies, C-sections and tons of scopes.

Thank you for everything."

A conversation with Eric Maki, a graduate in Ontonagon, MI (population 7,775)

"There are so many times I look back and think about my training here and how much it helped to prepare me and how well prepared I feel in moving to this rural area. I often hear little voices in my head from each of the faculty members who have told me various pearls over the years. The orthopedic training, the rural experiences, the emergency medicine experiences and all the attending faculty are outstanding. My practice just hired a graduating resident from a "very rural oriented residency", he is nowhere near as well prepared as I was. I would be more than happy to talk to any applicants or residents thinking of going into rural practice".

During his residency, he felt that "training was appropriately onerous" but he felt supported as a human being. The time commitments that were asked of him were necessary and he never felt like a "scut monkey". The other best part about residency was the autonomy that he experienced here "even our specialists are willing to let us do some things versus just watch."

Quotes from former residents

"I was treated like family with love and respect. That was key for me. The thing I love best besides the excellent training was the attending physicians. I felt like I learned an incredible amount, but had a lot of fun doing it. There is a good balance not only in the medical training itself, but also between personal well-being." Raphael Allred, a graduate in Klamath Falls, OR

"The Internal Medicine training was very solid. I'm probably the best prepared in my group. During residency, we are able to develop a very personal practice and this continues on here after residency. The autonomy helped to prepare me for practice. The residency was my surrogate family. There was definite camaraderie" Grant Wang, a graduate  in Santa Cruz, CA