Central Washington Residency Program Celebrates 20 years - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Central Washington Residency Program Celebrates 20 years

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program in Yakima is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The program trains new doctors.

Not only does the program host and teach new doctors for three years, but it also increases the likelihood those doctors will stay and help our community.

The program is the final step for medical school graduates to become practicing doctors.

Directors say the program isn't just good for them, but for the community.

30 of the 112 doctors who have graduated from the program have stayed in our area.

The school says most doctors only move about 100 miles away from where their residency programs are located, and many more have stayed close in our region.

"We have some down in the Tri-Cities, some up in Wenatchee, some in Spokane, in underserved areas of the I-5 Corridor both in Washington and Oregon," said Assistant Program Director April Yates Hardy.

The program was created by both Memorial Hospital and what is now Yakima Regional Hospital, as well as other local community members.

Directors say new residency programs, like the one Kennewick General Hospital recently announced, will only continue to provide more doctors for our region.

That's especially important with an aging population.