Trios Health celebrates second graduating class of residents - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trios Health celebrates second graduating class of residents

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - A handful of future doctors took their final steps as part of the Trios Health residency program on Friday. 

"So, you know, the life of a resident is challenging," said residency graduate, Jeff McDannel.

Young doctors in training like McDannel can work up to 90 hours a week and spend more than a decade learning their trade.

"Undergraduate requirements, tests to get into medical school, completed medical school and then residency after. So it ends up being 11 years after high school," said McDannel.

He had lived in Arizona his entire life before coming to another desert for the Trios Health residency program.

"They told me a little about the weather and the area and I thought, this will be a good fit," said McDannel.

This is just the second graduating class of residents at Trios and the hospital is proud to announce Dr. McDannel is the first graduate of the program to decide to stay on as a hospitalist.

"It's got a small town feel where you can kind of get to know the patients on a personal level and knowing you may see them when you're at the supermarket certainly adds that personal aspect to care that I enjoy," said McDannel.

What does the program mean for the rest of us? Well, with a shortage of primary care doctors -- these doctors in training are here to help.

"I think that the citizens here deserve good primary care and we want to let them know that we're here to provide that service. The residency clinics are open five days a week and they're always accepting new patients," said McDannel.

The Residency Clinic, which has been expanded, is down in the Spaulding Building in downtown Kennewick. It's a walk-in clinic for things like a cold, a cough or the flu when urgent care is backed up your doctor can't see you that day.