MAHEC brings new graduate medical training programs to Western North Carolina

Press release via Mountain Area Health Education Center

On Friday, March 18, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) welcomed 81 new residents on National Resident Matching Program’s Match Day. On this day, medical school graduates from across the United States and abroad learn where they will train for the next three to seven years including graduate medical education (GME) programs here in Western North Carolina (WNC).

MAHEC has expanded its GME program offerings for the second year in a row with additional family medicine and ob/gyn residency slots and new fellowships in maternal-fetal medicine, addiction psychiatry, and sports medicine. Over the next year, 185 physicians, dentists, and pharmacists will train in a variety of settings across the region including Mission Health, Charles George VA Hospital in Asheville, Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone, and Broughton Hospital in Morganton.

“Graduate medical education is in many ways the lifeblood of MAHEC, and we are thrilled to welcome learners from across the country into our training programs,” shared MAHEC CEO William Hathaway, MD. “Under the tutelage of our fantastic faculty here at MAHEC and across the region, these providers will develop the skills necessary to become the next generation of caretakers for our community.”

The three new fellowships, along with MAHEC’s existing GME programs, combine advanced training in interprofessional care at MAHEC’s ambulatory care practices with training at regional hospitals and more than 200 clinical sites across WNC. The growing number of physicians being trained in WNC will help address the shortage of healthcare professionals across the region.

Recently published data projects a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians in the United States over the next decade, making programs like these essential for ensuring there is an adequate healthcare workforce to meet current and future healthcare needs. Historically, the majority of physicians trained in WNC establish practices in the region after graduation. Many of these physicians already have an established connection to North Carolina.

MAHEC’s new maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) fellowship will provide specialized training in the care of high-risk pregnancies and complex gynecologic conditions as well as consultative care to support the region’s rural and primary care physicians. MAHEC is the only MFM provider in WNC and supports more than 2,000 births at Mission Hospital each year.

The new addiction psychiatry fellowship is the first accredited program of its kind in North Carolina and provides advanced training in the identification and management of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. Training sites will include MAHEC’s outpatient psychiatry clinic, Mission Hospital, a state-run inpatient treatment center, a community-based opioid treatment program, and the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.

A new sports medicine fellowship in Boone will allow primary care physicians to hone their skills in orthopedic medicine and the prevention and management of sports related-injuries at all levels of play from recreational sports to Division 1 college athletics and semi-professional sports leagues. Training sites will include Appalachian State University athletic events, inpatient and outpatient care at Watauga Medical Center, and outdoor sporting events.

New residents and fellows will begin their training at MAHEC in July. For more information on MAHEC’s graduate medical programs, please visit

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