The eight graduates of the three-year osteopathic residency program had previously completed four years of medical school and have now completed a residency program in family medicine, internal medicine, a rotating internship program or a gastroenterology fellowship. The GME program has transformed Burke County’s two hospitals into teaching institutions that are helping to meet the predicted future shortage of primary care physicians. Blue Ridge launched the program in 2011. In addition to the traditional studies in a school of medicine, osteopathic physicians train in manipulative medicine, a system of hands-on techniques to help relieve pain, restore motion and support the body’s functions.

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