Mon General Hospital in Morgantown hopes a new residency program will be the answer to bringing new doctors to the area.
The three-year program will train primary care physicians. The hospital said recruiting new doctors to the area has always been tough.
"We've decided it might be easier to kind of grow our own by starting a residency program," said Dr. Brian Hawthorne, Mon General's medical director. "It's been shown in studies that the number one determinant of where doctors end of practicing is where doctors did their residency."
The need for new primary care physicians is part of a national need for doctors.
The hospital is partnering with Cornerstone Care and Mountain State Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution.
Not traditionally a teaching hospital, Mon General said the staff is excited to get started.
"A lot of the doctors on staff have not had the ability to do a lot of teaching," said Dr. Hawthorne. "But a lot of doctors really miss that, they enjoy teaching so there's a lot of enthusiasm for the program to get under way."
The program is made possible by a federal Health Resources and Service Administration grant. It will have 12 students, four in each year.
Resident candidate Gabrielle Sakellarides said the opportunity to learn in Morgantown is exciting.
"Everything has been really nice because people really want us here and are excited to teach, and that's what I'm looking for," said Sakellarides. "The education so I can have the best experience so when I do go out on my own."