Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this residency program unopposed?

Yes! The Boone Family Medicine Residency Program is the only residency program at our hospital, and there are no plans to add any more programs. Rural training is like an apprenticeship where residents work alongside faculty in a collegial and supportive atmosphere. This model allows for dedicated teaching in all specialties as well as excellent exposure to procedures and hands-on learning. 

How does this program promote resident wellness?

In addition to providing exceptional family medicine training and patient care, our program is committed to building a culture of wellness that supports both our patients and our physicians. Residents and faculty are encouraged to engage in meaningful discussions about evidence-based self-care strategies through didactics and wellness lectures.  We encourage our residents to lead wellness projects that promote a health and well-being.

Our faculty understands the importance of being approachable, accommodating, and willing to listen to all resident concerns.  As a program, we strive to build a positive, inclusive, and accepting culture. 

We provide incoming residents with a list of local primary care physicians who have expressed interest in caring for residents throughout their time in Boone. Each resident class has a support group that meets regularly. Our program also offers free counseling and protected time for doctor and dentist appointments, errands, and other personal needs. 

How is Boone different from MAHEC’s other FMRP programs?

Each MAHEC family medicine residency program is unique. The Asheville-based program has twelve residents per class with training on an interprofessional campus and a tertiary care hospital with other residency programs. The program in Hendersonville has five residents per class and is housed in a federally qualified health center.

Boone is MAHEC’s newest family medicine residency program. We welcomed our first class of four residents in July 2020, and we plan to expand to six residents per class. Residents and faculty collaborate to create an exceptional rural family medicine residency training experience. We train in a rural area, which ensures our residents are well equipped for rural practice.

What is the obstetric curriculum? 

Residents work with family medicine faculty who practice obstetrics as well as physicians and nurse midwives associated with Harmony Center for Women. We offer training in obstetrical procedures including obstetric ultrasound, non stress test interpretation, management of all stages of labor, induction and augmentation of labor, placement of fetal scalp electrode and intrauterine pressure catheter, amnioinfusion, spontaneous vaginal delivery, episiotomy, perineal laceration repairs, and neonatal resuscitation. 

Does this program offer elective time?

Yes! We offer three months of elective time. Residency is the ideal time to explore specific interests that will make you the best and most well-rounded physician. We commit to creating the right rotations and longitudinal experiences to give you a broad skillset. Elective opportunities include rural emergency medicine, urgent care, gastroenterology with endoscopy, student health at Appalachian State University, practice in a free clinic and/or federally qualified health center.

How are didactics organized?

Didactics are held on Wednesday afternoons. Residents do not have any clinical responsibilities during this time. Lectures are delivered by core faculty, community preceptors, guest lecturers, and residents. We also learn virtually with our colleagues in Asheville and Hendersonville and on-site in Asheville for dedicated training in MAHEC's state-of-the-art medical simulation center.

What is the call schedule for the intern year?

Much of your intern year will take place in the hospital, and most of that time will be spent one-on-one with your supervising attending during the day. There will be no 24-hour shifts during your intern year. You may have an occasional evening or night shift in the emergency department or on the labor and delivery unit. Toward the end of the year, you may have some night shifts on the family medicine teaching service to prepare you to be an upper-level resident. Additionally, you may have some night shifts while on inpatient pediatrics at Mission Hospital in Asheville for a one-month block rotation. 

How many rotations are off site?

One block during intern year will be off site in Asheville focused on inpatient pediatrics. During your second and third years, there are three total off-site rotations: inpatient pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and high-volume obstetrics. These experiences will complement our home pediatrics and obstetrics experience in Boone. Our program provides housing options to residents for these away rotations.

What procedure training is offered?

We provide training in inpatient paracentesis, thoracentesis, lumbar puncture, central line insertion, endotracheal intubation, foley catheter placement, and IV insertion. We also offer training in a variety of outpatient procedures including but not limited to anoscopy, treadmill stress testing, cast application and removal, circumcision, colposcopy, punch biopsy, shave biopsy, excisional biopsy, skin tag removal, cryotherapy, EKG interpretation, endometrial biopsy, skin foreign body removal, incision and drainage of abscess, incision of external hemorrhoids, ingrown toenail excision, IUD insertion and removal, implantable long-acting reversible contraception insertion and removal, joint aspiration and injection, laceration repair, osteopathic manipulation, pap smear, spirometry, suture removal, trigger point injection, tympanometry, no-scalpel vasectomy, and wet mount interpretation. Procedure training includes the obstetrical procedures outlined above. 

How are research and scholarly activity integrated in the curriculum?

Residents are required to complete two scholarly projects, one of which must be a quality improvement project. Scholarly activity can include but is not limited to QI projects, case reports, original research, review papers, and curriculum development. Residents are encouraged to complete scholarly work in a field of their particular interest. 

UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC can provide robust clinical and academic resources to support resident research and scholarly activity. Didactics include medical literature evaluation and research methodology. Residents participate in the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative Program to gain a better understanding of ethical considerations involved with human subject research.

Does this program have a leadership curriculum?

Yes! We offer a longitudinal leadership curriculum built around (a) self-awareness as the foundation for authentic leadership and understanding behavioral patterns during change; (b) development of applied knowledge and skills; (c) understanding how to work across boundaries; (d) continued understanding of communication as it applies to leading teams; and (e) the what, who, and why of accountability.

The North Carolina Medical Society offers a nationally recognized project-based leadership program that we integrate longitudinally across all three years of our residency program. Faculty actively participate in this leadership curriculum with residents, who apply their learning by conducting a population health needs assessment in conjunction with their community project.

All residents complete an intensive two-year longitudinal community project, and they present information and share ideas annually to help fellow residents prepare for rural practice. Emphasis on community-based leadership throughout the program prepares residents to lead clinical and community change after graduation.

Does this program offer international/global health opportunities?

Our program offers numerous opportunities for residents to participate in international health initiatives. Residents are encouraged to accompany faculty who provide care around the world. MAHEC sends a medical brigade annually to Intibuca, Honduras through the Shoulder to Shoulder organization founded by MAHEC CEO Jeff Heck, MD. Residents are also encouraged to explore health opportunities where they have previously provided care internationally.

Our program is excited to partner with Samaritan's Purse, a faith-based service organization based in Boone that provides disaster relief in the U.S. and abroad. Residents of all faith and spiritual traditions can participate in a four-week international rotation exploring global mission work. Samaritan's Purse offers a post-residency two-year fellowship with placement in one of fifty-two international hospitals.  Our partnership with Samaritan's Purse provides opportunities for disaster relief response training and telehealth.

Do residents work with faculty advisors?

Residents are assigned a faculty advisor at the onset of residency training. Faculty advisors are the initial point of contact for any concerns that may arise during a resident’s training. Advisors help residents learn and grow through the evaluation process and support residents as they pursue scholarly activity. Our faculty advisors have a sincere and ongoing interest in our residents’ personal and professional development. Utilizing a coaching model based on mutual respect, faculty advisors help residents set and work toward individual career goals.

Does this program offer fellowship opportunities?

MAHEC offers a number of post-residency fellowships and opportunities for ongoing training and support after graduation. MAHEC’s growing list of fellowships includes addiction medicine, rural health, sports medicine, and a rural fellow-MPH option. 

Within the next few years, we hope to launch a second MAHEC sports medicine fellowship program that supports Appalachian State University athletics!

What are the faculty's special interests?

Molly Benedum, MD, program director. Molly pursued additional training in integrative medicine during her residency. Her clinical interests include reproductive and sexual health, women’s health (including outpatient gynecologic procedures), adolescent medicine, and LGBT health. Her teaching interests including leading amazing journal clubs, behavioral health, and humanities in medicine. 

David Brendle, DO, associate program director and core faculty. David’s clinical interests include integrative medicine, diabetes, CAD, PVD, sports medicine, osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT), and inpatient and outpatient procedures. His teaching interests include journal reviews, inpatient and outpatient medicine, wilderness medicine, OMT, and procedures.

Charlie Baker, MD. Charlie just retired after 40 years of full-spectrum primary care in neighboring Avery County.  He is board certified in pediatrics and family practice and assists with clinical didactics and precepting in the outpatient clinics in Boone and Linville. 

Chris Bullers, MD, sports medicine faculty. Fellowship-trained in sports medicine, Chris’s focus is primarily on sports and musculoskeletal medicine. He has procedural training in ultrasound, injection and nonoperative therapies, and concussion management. Chris’s teaching interests center on musculoskeletal education through hands-on experiences and discussion. He is also interested in preventative medicine.

Daniel Goble, MD, faculty and inpatient director. Daniel’s interests include teaching, bedside procedures, point-of-care ultrasound, critical care, metacognition, emotional intelligence, meditation, indigent care, and wilderness medicine.