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Program Coordinator

Teri Yaeger
101 W. 8th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99204
P (509) 474-3237
F (509) 474-5316


Resident First Culture:

Q. Do residents have a voice in how the program operates?

Yes. Residents are asked for feedback about the program during each review in addition to a confidential annual survey. A monthly resident/faculty meeting occurs with three extended meetings/year that identify program issues with solutions generated with residents, faculty and staff. Finally, the residents have a resident only meeting to provide a forum for discussion. The resident liaison then meets with the Program Director to discuss the content. Resident driven changes include our night float system, the Senior Resident Leadership/Teaching workshop, Emergent call changes for Deaconess Hospital and many others.

Q. All residencies say their residents get along, what makes IMRS extra special?

Thirty residents is a great size – small enough to know each and every colleague but large enough to find someone who shares your interest. Additionally we provide wellness days for our residents to spend time together outside of the clinic/hospital setting. This welcoming environment commonly extends to significant others, with spouses and children also joining many events and get togethers. For more examples, please see our Spokane Resident Life section.

Q. How are the faculty in terms of providing career mentoring?

During the final R1 review, residents are asked about potential career plans. Senior schedules are modified to allow rotations which ensure subspecialist letters of recommendation or have the potential to schedule an away rotation if pursuing fellowship. Subspecialty mentors can be requested.  For residents thinking of primary care, additional rotations can be arranged with different clinic practices to assist in choosing a practice. Ambulist mentors are happy to assist resident colleagues in learning more about practice types and opportunities. The IMRS faculty mentor is particularly valuable to the resident in this process.

Q. Can I get into a subspecialty fellowship after training at IMRS?

Most definitely. With the expansion of medical schools and Spokane’s growing medical community, we understand the need to expand our value and opportunities to residents. As such, we work hard to assist our residents on their journeys into subspecialty fellowships. IMRS has graduates in all of the subspecialty fields of medicine. In the last two years alone, three residents have gone into Pulm/Critical Care, two into Critical Care, two in ID and one each in Cardiology, Nephrology, Rheumatology, and GI.

Program Details:

Q. What type of outpatient schedule does IMRS employ?

The interns start with a full month of clinic orientation, patient care in either rotation #1 or #2. This enables them to quickly feel comfortable in the outpatient arena. For the majority of housestaff services at SHMC, residents do not have clinic during that rotation but will be scheduled for clinic days following completion of the inpatient rotation which allows them to provide a post-discharge visit when back in clinic. This schedule enables residents in the hospital to focus on their critically ill patients without having to worry about signing out patients to go to clinic. And conversely, the clinic patient in front of you is the most important patient at that time.

Q. What EMR(s) does IMRS use?

We utilize EPIC at our main hospital (Sacred Heart) and clinic (STHC). Residents on rotation at the VA will use the VA standard CPRS system, and residents rotating at Deaconess use Meditech, (with plans to move to EPIC in the next two years). We have resident super users and integrate several talks on documenting, billing, smart phrase tips, etc., throughout our noon conference schedule, to ensure that residents gain proficiency in EMR.

Q. What are the opportunities for moonlighting?

Washington State requires a full two years of post-graduate training before physicians are eligible for an unrestricted license. Therefore, residents are only able to moonlight in their third year following license acquisition. Because moonlighting shifts must be included in the 80-hour work week, most residents choose shifts nearby with the Providence SHMC hospitalist group, or smaller rural hospitals within a few hours’ drive.

Q. What training experiences exist at the Veterans Affairs and Deaconess Hospitals?

The VA hospital provides a geriatric experience utilizing their long term care facility. Other rotations such as outpatient cardiology and neurology can be completed at the VA as well. Deaconess Hospital provides an active pulmonary service with ICU patients. Also inpatient neurology and radiology rotations can occur there.

Q. What types of patients will I care for as an IMRS resident?

Training at a tertiary medical center with a multi-state catchment area, residents learn from an amazing variety of patients including many poor and vulnerable patients from the Spokane community.  During any given rotation, residents will care for rural patients presenting with new diagnoses and little, if any, prior medical interaction, non-English speaking immigrants, many Native Americans and patients coming to Sacred Heart needing highly skilled interventions like dialysis, transplant, or LVAD. Because of the number of languages spoken, the clinic and hospital use a system that directly connects with translators to aid in providing the best care for patients.  In many outpatient or non-IMRS inpatient services, you will care for insured patients with easy access to care.  For more information see (link to scope of care under we value.)

Q.  What is the Evaluation Process?

Residents and faculty evaluate each other using an electronic evaluation system at the end of each rotation.  There is the ability to provide confidential comments seen only by the Program Director.  In addition, for residents to maintain anonymity, evaluations are released three at a time. Senior and junior residents also evaluate each other.  Additional evaluations come from clinic nurses, medical students and patients. Verbal feedback is given at the end of each rotation in additional to the written comments.  Formal feedback sessions with faculty are held three times/year for R1s and semi-annually for senior residents.

Living in Spokane:

Q. How is Spokane in terms of offering job opportunities and good schools for my family?

Whether business, residential, medical, or recreational, over the past 10-20 years, Spokane has witnessed a tremendous growth and investment in the community. Spokane has many job opportunities – particularly abundant in health care and education. Spokane is home to many private and public universities as well as community colleges which provide jobs but also meet higher education needs for families. Private and public schools for K-12 are excellent with very competitive test scores. There are numerous after school organizations and intramural sports teams offering additional support for children.

Q. Where do most residents live? Is the housing affordable? Will I need a car?

Most residents live within the neighborhoods of a broader area called the South Hill. This is due to the hospital being located on the south side of downtown at the base of this hill. Popular neighborhoods within this area include South Perry, Comstock, Lincoln Heights, and Regal. Other residents live downtown or within a newer housing development called Kendall Yards. However the commute is easy enough that Spokane Valley and North Spokane are also great options. With Spokane’s affordable housing market, some residents even choose to purchase a home during residency. Due to the hills and winter snow, a car is generally required for daily commute, though several faculty and residents bike to work. (link to Spokane Life section)

Q.  What does the Spokane medical community have to offer?

For many decades, Spokane has served as a clerkship site for University of Washington students. They are an integral part of our inpatient ward teams, clinic and ICU as they rotate for their 12-week clerkship in their MS3 year. Then in 2008, UW began having first year medical students train in Spokane. Currently 60 students/year are enrolled at the Spokane campus.

Pacific Northwest Osteopathic University also has been training osteopathic physicians since 2008, with Providence Sacred Heart serving as a clerkship site. Medical students are an integral part of our inpatient ward teams, clinic and ICU as they rotate during their clerkships.

Washington State University Spokane will be welcoming its inaugural medical student class of 60 students in August, 2017.

In addition to medical students, you may also have the opportunity to work with students in pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and the physician assistant program.