Resident Perspective

Andrew Schweitzer, MD

Third Year Resident

Residency life in an RTT


I often wonder how many residents get the same opportunities and experiences that I do on a regular basis in the FMRI Magic Valley Rural Training Track (MVRTT). Living on a 500 acre sheep ranch 12 minutes from the hospital, I awaken daily to soft bleats of sheep and the sound of pivots irrigating nearby crops. As only 1 of 4 residents in this entire valley, being first in line for any procedure or learning opportunity is just an expected part of life. While patient care always come first, our attending physicians encourage us to seek out additional training opportunities and give us the flexibility to take advantage of them when available. For example, it is not unusual to run a code in the ED, place a central line, diagnose a pediatric appendicitis and then be invited to do the appendectomy with the on call surgeon. However, there is a steep learning curve in both clinical knowledge and responsibility as we are treated and function more like junior colleagues than residents. This is a feature of RTTs that I particularly value, as it provides the perfect set of “training wheels” to prepare me for a rural full spectrum family practice.