Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency Program
Welcome From the Program Director
Francis X. Dennehy, MD
Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency Program! Our
residency is a rural-oriented program in the Shenandoah Valley of northwestern
Virginia, about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C. We are affiliated with
the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University School
of Medicine (www.familymedicine.vcu.edu). We are fully accredited for our 3-year residency by both the ACGME and
the American Osteopathic Association, allowing full board certification
eligibility for MD and DO physicians. We have 5 residents in each class.
Our mission is to train new quality family physicians for practice in Virginia’s
rural areas and small towns who will be competent to practice in any environment.
Also, to provide high quality, cost effective, readily accessible care
for our patients, their families, and our community.
Click here to learn how to apply.
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About the Program
Training occurs in two complementary sites. We have a small town practice
in Front Royal, along with cutting edge subspecialists and technology
and cultural amenities of the larger city of Winchester. Specialty rotations
are in the award-winning Winchester Medical Center, a 411 bed, four-state
referral medical center, Trauma Center, Heart Institute, Cancer Center,
Neonatal ICU, and much more. The specialty faculty physicians are from
the best residencies and fellowships in the country. And yet, on-call
for our admissions and Family Practice Inpatient Service, we practice
at the smaller, 76 bed, Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal. This
is a Family Practice-dominated hospital, with an attached 120 bed nursing
home, where you apply that high-tech med center training in managing the
breadth of the patients in Family Medicine: office care, nursing home,
ER, hospital floor, ICU, OB, Nursery, and Operating Room, without subspecialists’
immediate backup. Our residents learn to manage patients, not just to
triage and refer to others. Winchester Medical Center and Warren Memorial
Hospital are connected by 23 miles of interstate highway, allowing quick
access for rotations, yet enough distance that our patients come to us
for the bulk of their care.
The vast majority of our graduates practice the breadth of Family Medicine
– office, hospital and ICU. Because of our training, some of our
graduates have been aggressively recruited to full-time work in Emergency
Medicine or even full-time hospitalist work.
While some practice in suburban and major city locales, about half of our
graduates practice in small town and rural areas, and this is a large
percentage for rural training programs. Many of the respected Family Physicians
on staff at the Winchester Medical Center are graduates of our program.
Once you get to know Virginia, it can be hard to leave.
The core Family Practice Faculty members are partners in a real private
practice, with residents working as junior associates. You witness up
close the details of real practice: the hiring of staff, purchasing equipment,
training needs, billing and working with insurances, finding needed resources,
and so on. This day-to-day work in a real-life private practice, along
with our 3-year Practice Management Curriculum, is one reason that so
many of our graduates have felt comfortable setting up their own solo
practices. Our Electronic Medical Record is fully integrated with the
large regional health system’s hospitals, labs, and x-ray, for smooth
patient care and coordination.
Our Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Curriculum is one of the few in the
country to meet the Recommendations for Psychiatric Training in Family
Medicine from the American Psychiatric Association. Our residents learn
to handle whatever mental health problems are thrown their way in real practice.
Rural Family Medicine training is ideally suited for work in the third
world. Many residents are excited about our Global Medicine Elective in
Honduras, under the direction of our own Dr. Thomas Ball. Each year, Dr.
Ball takes residents and VCU medical students to an ongoing clinic site
in the mountains of Honduras. Our VCU connection has expanded this opportunity
to include the Dominican Republic and Ghana in West Africa. Click here
for brigade video:
Our patients represent our area and a broad range of people; rich or poor,
working or unemployed, locals and immigrants, educated or needy disabled.
Our demographic closely resembles that of the U.S. as a whole. There is
social and ethnic diversity, and Spanish language skills are helpful.
We care for patients not just in the office, hospital, and nursing home,
but also in patient homes, an adolescent medicine school clinic, university
sports medicine clinic, and three public health clinics.
Board review begins in the first year and continues all three years. Our
program’s unique level of management of complex patients without
immediate specialist backup allows our residents to have a deeper than
usual knowledge of complicated medical problems. For several years, each
class of residents has scored above the national average for their training
year on the In-Training Exam of the American Board of Family Medicine.
Our D.O. residents also score in the top percentiles on the yearly In-Service
Exam of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Our program
and faculty and residents have won numerous awards and honors (see Awards
and Research page). Our residents and faculty regularly present at national
and international conferences, and most residents get published. Most
of our core Family Practice Faculty have completed teaching fellowships,
gaining advanced teaching skills for this clinically-based, practical
group. Our close academic affiliation with the MCV/VCU School of Medicine
affords our residents many learning opportunities with our fellow VCU
programs, and additional resources, support and academic training for
Our faculty and residents train medical students from numerous medical
and osteopathic schools. Student rotations include Family Practice Office-based
rotation, or our very popular hospital Acting Internship. The Student
Curriculum is under the direction of Dr. Jon Winter. Housing is provided.
For rotations, contact our Residency Program Coordinator, Tina Krajacic:
Click here to learn more about the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and all it has to offer!