Engaging the Next Generation of Doctors

Family Medicine Provider Dr. Bryn Parker a Valued Partner with Idaho Medical Program

In many ways, Dr. Bryn Parker doubles as a recruiter.

The Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine physician sees patients every day from the hospital and downtown clinic. More days than not, a medical student is by her side to shadow or assist the Family Medicine/OB provider.

Having the support from aspiring doctors in the University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program helps students learn the ins and outs of seeing a wide variety of patients each day. But for Parker, it also serves as an audition for the physicians she’d eventually like to see practice here as part of the Gritman system.

“I like to be open and available to people as to what family practice might look like,” Dr. Parker said. “That’s why I’m here is because of what people did for me.”

Dr. Parker benefited through her own mentoring from Dr. Helen Shearer as a student trying to decide whether to go into medicine. Taking newer physicians under her wing continues that recruitment pipeline that was so important as Dr. Parker was going through her education.

Gritman | moscow family medicine dr. Bryn parker has been recognized by the university of idaho wwami medical education program’s 2021 excellence in teaching award for her part in training future doctors.
Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine Dr. Bryn Parker has been recognized with the University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program’s 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award for her part in training future doctors.

A Fruitful Collaboration

WWAMI, a partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine, serves students in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The program brings future doctors to Moscow for the first two years of medical school before a series of rotations and trainings at hospitals around the Northwest.

Moscow is one of the school’s seven “TRUST” sites, part of the Targeted Rural Underserved Track that trains interested students on the broad spectrum of cases they will encounter when working in a rural, critical access environment. First- and second-year medical students spend one to two weeks embedded in the community hospital setting and then return periodically over the next 18 months.

TRUST students later take part in the WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE), part of the TRUST program, which includes a five- to six-month integrated clerkship at rural hospitals in the third year of medical school.

At Gritman, these rotations take place with Dr. Parker as well as physicians at Gritman Family and Internal Medicine and Moscow-Pullman OB/GYN, introducing students to more areas of care throughout the hospital, and allowing them the ability to follow patients and families as they move through the Gritman clinics system.

“They can see some patients multiple times or help with transferring them from one physician to another,” she said. “They get to simulate being a primary care provider over time and see the processes develop. It’s a really cool program.”

“It’s great that I can show how broad family practice can be. In my ideal world, I don’t think there would be any place better to practice.” — Dr. Bryn Parker, Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine

Honored by Students

Her work in bringing young physicians into her practice, along with a recurring guest lecturer role on the U of I campus in Moscow, led the program to honor Dr. Parker with the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award.

“It’s overwhelmingly flattering,” she said of the award. “I certainly never thought I would get something like this, it’s just part of what I do.”

This honor is based on student nominations and speaks to the knowledgeable, skilled, and inspiring instructor and physician Dr. Parker has been for both U of I and Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine. The partnership has built lasting bonds with Parker and her students, many of whom will look to join Gritman as they further their medical careers.

In addition to those pipeline benefits, the work also keeps Dr. Parker and other physicians who take part up to date on their medical expertise and introduces the students to the Moscow community where they may one day practice medicine themselves.

“It’s great that I can show how broad family practice can be,” she said. “In my ideal world, I don’t think there would be any place better to practice.”


Video: Watch to learn more about the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program, where Gritman | Moscow Family Medicine Dr. Bryn Parker helps train future physicians. At top: Dr. Parker, pictured in 2016, has worked to foster a recruitment pipeline between the WWAMI program and the Family Medicine program at Gritman. Photos are courtesy of the University of Idaho.