Maine Medical Center
left: exterior of William L. Medd Health Center, right: foliage-covered hillside next to lake

Rural Internal Medicine Maine (RIMM) Track

Rural Internal Medicine Maine (RIMM) Track

Hear more about our exceptional program and who we are from Program Director Thomas Gearan, MD, FACP along with current residents and faculty.

 
A unique internal medicine residency program that blends experiences of training at an urban tertiary care center, MMC in Portland, and Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH) in Norway.
 
Listen to what RIMM resident, Dr. Sam Ferguson, has to say about his experience at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

 


  • Founded in 2017 as the first rural internal medicine residency track in the U.S.
  • One resident per year (3 in total), identified through a separate Match process.
  • Unique urban-rural block schedule format that blends clinical learning opportunities at both an urban academic tertiary care center (Maine Medical Center) and a rural critical access health system (Western Maine Health).
  • Full integration of rural track residents into MMC’s categorical IM residency program, including all teaching conferences and residency events (including orientation, retreats, wellness programs, and simulation).
  • Training for rural primary care with an increased scope of practice.
  • Dedicated rural curriculum focusing on leadership, teaching, and rural population health.
  • Flexibility to develop the clinical and procedural skills that meet your future practice goals.
  • Rural research opportunities through the MaineHealth Institute for Research
  • 100% graduate placement in rural practice.

 

Our Goals

  • To better meet our society’s healthcare needs by addressing rural physician workforce shortages and rural health disparities, with a particular focus on Maine’s rural communities.
  • To provide an innovative training model which prepares internal medicine residents for practice in a rural community.

The rural internist as generalist and specialist

In addition to preparation for office and hospital-based general internal medicine practice, RIMM Track residents will have the opportunity to gain advanced training in the evaluation and management of specific medical conditions often managed by medical subspecialists in more urban areas.

Procedure training for the rural internist

RIMM Track residents will have the opportunity to gain additional experience in the procedures that meet their individual career goals and the needs of their future rural community.

Rural population health and rural health disparities

RIMM Track residents will develop the skills necessary to assess and improve the health of rural populations within their practice and community.

Teamwork and leadership in rural practice

RIMM Track residents will learn the skills needed to effectively partner with a multi-disciplinary care team, while also developing the skills required to become a healthcare leader in their future community.

Lifelong learning and teaching in rural practice

RIMM Track residents will gain the skills essential to being a lifelong learner and teacher while practicing in a rural setting.

  • First rural internal medicine residency track in U.S.
  • Resident continuity clinic based in the rural setting.
  • Shared EMR (Epic) between WMH and MMC.
  • Shared teaching faculty between WMH and MMC.
  • Shared didactics with MMC via videoconferencing.
  • Urban-rural (X+Y) block schedule format that alternates rotations between urban (MMC) and rural (WMH) settings:
    Year Rural (WMH) Urban (MMC)
    PGY-1/PGY-2 Continuity Clinic
    Procedures
    Rural Hospital Medicine
    Rural Emergency Medicine
    Rural Geriatrics
    Rural Specialty Clinics
    Inpatient General Medicine
    MICU
    Inpatient Cardiology/CICU
    Inpatient Hem-Onc
    Inpatient Renal Transplant
    Sub-specialty Consults
    Neurology
    Night Float
    PGY-3 Continuity Clinic
    Procedures
    Rural Hospital Medicine
    Rural Emergency Medicine
    Rural Specialty Clinics
    Electives
    Inpatient General Medicine
    MICU
    VA sub-specialty clinics
    Medicine Consult
    Electives
     
  • Resident continuity clinic panel based at Western Maine Health.
  • Representative breakdown of RIMM rural continuity clinic weeks:
    • Continuity clinic: four half days
    • Specialty clinics: two half days
    • Procedures: one half day
    • RIMM curriculum modules: one half day
    • MMC Academic Half-day: one half day
    • Flex time: one half day
  • Shared didactics with MMC via blend of videoconferencing and in-person learning.
  • Advanced procedure opportunities: non-invasive cardiology (treadmill stress testing, EKG, ABIs), dermoscopy and skin biopsy, pulmonary function tests, endoscopy, joint aspiration/injection, POCUS.
  • RIMM curriculum modules for leadership, teaching (culminating in MITE Clinical Teaching Certificate), addiction medicine (including X-waiver training), population health, and QI/PS (culminating in Lean Six Sigma White Belt course).
  • Rural research opportunities available through Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network.


Western Maine Healthcare (WMH), a MaineHealth member organization located in Norway ME, serves as the rural teaching site for the RIMM Track. Norway is a community of 5000 people located 45 miles to the north of Portland in the foothills of the White Mountains. The surrounding area of Oxford County has a population of approximately 57,000 people.

Teaching sites at Western Maine Health include Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH), a 25 bed critical access hospital with 4 bed ICU, Western Maine Primary Care, a patient-centered medical home practice of six board-certified internal medicine physicians, and the Western Maine Health Specialty Clinics. SMH has been named a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group.

Teaching sites at Western Maine Health include Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH), a 25 bed critical access hospital, and Western Maine Primary Care, a patient-centered medical home practice of six board-certified internal medicine physicians. SMH has been named a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group.

The physicians at Western Maine Health have a long and valued history as medical educators and healthcare leaders in Maine. For over 30 years MMC Internal Medicine residents have rotated through WMH as part of their PGY-2 Rural Medicine rotation. Since 2011 the site has also been home to 3 TUSM - Maine Track medical students for the longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC). WMH physicians have served in leadership roles within MaineHealth and the Maine Chapter of ACP.

As a MaineHealth member, Western Maine Health shares an integrated electronic health record (Epic) and telehealth platform with Maine Medical Center.

PGY 3

PGY 2

PGY 1

Rosellen Shahidi

Rosellen Shahidi

2023
Gunnar Huffman, DO; Rural Primary Care, Western Maine Health, Norway, ME

2022
Adriana Nadeau, MD: Rural Primary Care, Western Maine Health, Norway, ME

2021
Shane Kirkegaard, DO: Rural Primary Care, Pocahontas, IA

2020
Sam Ferguson, DO: Rural Primary Care, Western Maine Health, Norway, ME


Housing is provided for RIMM residents and TUSM-MMC third year medical students at a housing complex located in downtown Norway adjacent to Stephens Memorial Hospital.

Transportation costs for travel between WMH and MMC is supported.

Applications for the RIMM program will be accepted only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) Application. No paper applications will be accepted. Our code for the National Resident Matching Program is: Rural Internal Medicine Maine Track (NRMP code 1236140M0). Applicants may apply to both the RIMM program and categorical IM program, or just the RIMM program alone. While invitations to interview will be extended separately for the RIMM and categorical IM programs, applicants may interview with both programs on the same interview day. The combined RIMM & Categorical IM interview days will include dedicated informational sessions and faculty interviews for each program.