Why Your First Choice Will be the MAHEC Ob/Gyn Residency Program!

We are excited to announce the expansion of our program to 5 residents for each program year. Congratulations to all five incoming residents who matched this year!


The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is an integral part of our Western North Carolina community, and is a critical resource for improving healthcare in the mountain region. We are the safety net provider for the Western North Carolina region, which provides us with a robust patient volume.  Our mission is to provide specialized obstetric and gynecologic care to the women of Western North Carolina through compassionate, patient-centered services and comprehensive education of healthcare providers.  We provide this care to the most vulnerable and underserved population in the region.

The residency experience at MAHEC is unique because our program is really a hybrid program that offers many of the opportunities of large academic centers within the supportive setting of a small community-based program. MAHEC is a patient-centered healthcare provider that delivers care using an interprofessional team-based approach that incorporates maternal-fetal medicine specialists, obstetrician-gynecologists, certified nurse midwives, doulas, behavioral health providers, addictions specialists, clinical pharmacists, and registered dietitians. Additionally, we participate in innovative community-centered programs that improve health equity and maternal and infant birth outcomes including Centering Pregnancy and the Mothering Asheville movement.

Our residents train at a Baby-Friendly designated hospital where over 4,000 deliveries and 40,000 surgeries are performed each year—more than any other hospital in North Carolina. MAHEC's maternal-fetal medicine specialists are the primary providers of high-risk obstetrics for the region and expose trainees to the full spectrum of obstetrical and neonatal care. Gynecologic oncology, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology, vulvar, and rural women's health specialists provide extensive training in gynecology, and our connections around the world provide opportunities for international training.

While all residents at MAHEC are trained in medical research, those interested in an academic career receive extensive training and support as they design and implement their own aggressive research plan with the support of the Department of Research at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. Many resident research projects lead to changes in our clinical practice. This serves as a testimony to how much we value resident research and also how MAHEC continually positions itself on the cutting edge of patient care and resident education. All MAHEC faculty are fully committed to teaching and are trained on how to educate adult learners. Many have UNC School of Medicine appointments.

Our program offers regular simulation training in our state-of-the-art Simulation Center as part of our regular didactic schedule, and we also utilize several other virtual training methods.  We have at least 20 percent of our didactic time performing simulations with most of the faculty trained in simulation instruction. All of our didactics are formatted for adult learners, and we continually seek new and innovative ways to teach, train, and prepare our residents.

Our program is a proud participant of the Right Resident, Right Program, Ready Day One (RRR) initiative of APGO (Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology).  Our Designated Institutional Officer (DIO) and I actively participate on committees in this effort to support medical school student’s transformation from Undergraduate Medical Education into Graduate Medical Education.  MAHEC will be a proud participant this coming year (as we were last year) following the guidelines from RRR.

Obviously, this year’s interview process will be different than previous years.  We will be providing all of our interviews in a virtual platform based on the guidance from RRR.  We will be working to provide a robust, engaging exposure to MAHEC and its culture via this website.  More details to come.

I'm very proud of MAHEC’s Ob/Gyn Residency Program, and I am excited to be a part of the program. We offer a unique residency experience with opportunities for international training and medical research, provided by faculty fully committed to resident education. We also have opportunities for rural training as well as global health. Our residents learn within a supportive, community-based, and highly advanced healthcare system. Whether in the classroom or the delivery room, our residents receive the very best in learning opportunities, while providing the very best in healthcare to the people of Western North Carolina.

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Bill Gist, MD, FACOG
Director, Ob/Gyn Residency Program


MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.

Click here to learn more about our participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Pursuing Equity Learning and Action Network.

Covid Response

Western North Carolina has not been as severely impacted by COVID-19 as many areas of our country. We do take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and do not want any of our team exposed to this pathogen. MAHEC as an institution has initiated a universal safety measure for faculty and residents. In our office, everyone wears a mask when encountering another individual. In the hospital, we wear a mask at all times in the hospital and when we have patient encounters eye protection (shields or goggles) is required. For high risk procedures (deliveries, procedures with intubation, etc.) N95’s are also required. We have not had any issues obtaining and supplying PPE either in the office or in the hospital.
Additionally, we endorse waiting or being 6 feet apart at all times and frequent hand washing or hand sanitizer use.

Click here for a link to the WNC dashboard on COVID-19


For questions on the MAHEC OB/GYN Residency program, please contact obgynrp@mahec.net.
Dr. Lauren Knowlson
Assistant Director, Ob/Gyn Residency Program
Dr. Kiran Sigmon
Assistant Director, Ob/Gyn Residency Program
Taryn Smith
Residency Program Administrator
(828) 771-5537
Marketa McAfee
Residency Program Coordinator
(828) 771-5444
4th Year Medical Student Rotations
If you are interested in completing a 4th year rotation with us, please contact Cheri Y. Fleming, BSHWP, GME Program Specialist. Learn more about our rotations.