A Brief History of Riverside Family Medicine
Riverside Regional Medical Center has been a sponsor of graduate medical education, affiliated with the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University) in Richmond, since 1968. At that time Riverside was selected from among 100 hospitals in the state to be the site of a two year general practice residency program. In February of 1969, the American Board of Family Practice was officially recognized as the 20th primary medical specialty, and the Riverside General Practice Residency Program became the Riverside Family Practice Residency Program. In January 2005, the American Board of Family Practice officially changed to the American Board of Family Medicine. In keeping with the ABFM name change we are now VCU\Riverside Family Medicine Residency.
In November 2007 Riverside Family Medicine received approval from the American Osteopathic Association to begin a dually accredited Osteopathic Family Medicine program. Riverside is affiliated with the VCOM and the Appalachian post-doctoral training institute.
Riverside Family Medicine moved from its original location at Riverside Hospital to rented space at the Newport News Health Department in 1972. At that time a “Model Unit Concept” was established, with the residency center serving as the primary site for learning the art and skills of outpatient medical care. In January of 1989, the program moved to 316 Main Street. In April 2005 we moved to the current site on Jefferson Avenue.
The practice has grown steadily over the years and provides medical care to a broad spectrum of patients from the community. We strongly believe that the best way for family medicine residents to learn the “full scope of family medicine” is when their office serves a patient population that represents the community at large. We also believe we have an obligation to teach our residents in a way to ensure continued success in the future. In keeping with that objective, we implemented a fully-functional, state-of-the-art electronic medical record (EMR) in May of 1997. It has greatly improved patient care and has stimulated considerable research. In February of 2013, Riverside Family Medicine was awarded “Patient Centered Medical Home” status.
The inpatient portion of the family medicine residency occurs at Riverside Regional Medical Center, a 450-bed teaching hospital. RRMC offers a full range of specialty and sub-specialty physicians who actively participate in the training program. In addition to its strong hospital and office experience, the Family Medicine Residency Program residents are the primary physicians at The Gardens at Warwick Forest, which is a 242-bed teaching nursing home. Under the supervision of Dr. Emmeline Gasink, Certified Medical Director with the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care, the residents provide state of the art geriatric care to this population while having the unique experience of becoming part of an active medical staff while they are still residents.
Dr. Bradley Touchet is the Director of the Family Medicine Residency. Dr. Joy N. Elliott, D.O. is the Director of the Osteopathic Family Medicine Program. The other full-time faculty includes Dr. Jacob Jones, Dr. Jon Kaminer, Dr. Beth Klug, Dr. Mike Lustig, Dr. Patricia Wessler and Dr. Verneeta Williams. In addition, Dr. Charles Frazier, former Director and currently the Director of Medical Informatics for Riverside Health System, continues to see patients here and also helps with the teaching and precepting of our residents. We also enjoy the expertise of two other affiliate faculty members, Saunora Prom, D.O. and Donald Soles, M.D.
The residency program in family medicine at Riverside Regional Medical Center is designed to provide a strong hospital experience combined with a state of the art private office setting for outpatient care. Osteopathic manipulation is provided to patients in the office during regular office visits and also in a continuity OMM clinic offered monthly. Both osteopathic and allopathic residents are taught and encouraged to use OMM.
The program places a high priority on “individualizing” the residents’ educational activities and learning experiences to prepare them as life-long learners in the satisfying and enjoyable practice of family medicine. A high faculty to resident ratio with excellent faculty availability creates a close family atmosphere which has been the unique and remarkable trademark of the Riverside Family Medicine Residency Program. As of June 2017, we have graduated 534 residents who are located all over the world.
This program continues to be committed to producing the finest and best-trained family medicine physicians in the nation.