In the fall of 1997, Maurice Nida, DO, a native of Southwest Virginia, developed a vision for Norton Community Hospital and Southwest Virginia: to train local students to become local physicians. It was in August 1999 when the first group of third-year medical students from Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM) arrived for their two years of clinical training at Norton Community Hospital.
With tremendous support from the hospital Board of Directors and Administrative staff and with guidance from PCSOM, Dr. Nida's vision became a reality with the opening of an internal medicine residency program in July 2001. Norton Community Hospital now offers a continuity of osteopathic medical education from the third year of medical school through the final year of residency. The hospital serves as a training hub-site for students from PCSOM, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. The AOA approved residency program offers six seats in internal medicine and three seats in a traditional rotating internship each year. The program features both traditional and fast-track programs in internal medicine. The fast-track internship can decrease training by one year.
The strength of the residency program is its "hands on" approach with direct responsibility in patient care. Enthusiasm for teaching from physicians to support staff to administration, results in a supportive, family-like atmosphere that is very conducive to learning.
Core rotations are completed at Norton Community Hospital, with availability of subspecialty rotations with affiliates in northeast Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky.
Didactic education occurs through morning reports/rounds, board review, journal club, clinical case conferences, grand rounds and self-directed learning activities. Residents spend one-half day a week in an ambulatory medical clinic following their own patients throughout the course of the residency. Graduates of the program are fully competent to practice internal medicine in either the hospital or ambulatory setting.
Norton Community Hospital takes great pride in training young physicians for our rural, medically under-served area. This dedication has resulted in an increase in quality primary care for southwest Virginia and the surrounding area and the growth of our institution. Norton Community Hospital offers the benefits of rural living with the opportunity to train in a modern and progressive hospital.