Published on July 15, 2019

New Family Doctors Arrive at Gratiot as Graduating Physicians Stay in the Community to Serve

Group photo of Family Practice Center - Alma providers and staff.gan Medical Center - Mt. Pleasant.

Group photo of the Family Practice Center - Alma, on the Campus of MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot, providers and staff.

The inaugural class of family medicine physicians will be graduating from the residency training program at MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot in June. All the graduates will remain in the community to continue caring for patients. Meanwhile, new physicians will be joining the program to start their hands-on training, creating additional capacity for the Family Practice Center to welcome new patients.

The residency program, a joint effort between Michigan State University and MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot, was created in 2016 in response to a growing need for physician residency opportunities in Michigan. Its stated mission is “to train high quality compassionate family medicine physicians devoted to serving rural communities, while addressing the health care needs of our diverse population.” The program is filling that role by bringing a dozen additional physicians into the community to care for patients at the Family Practice Center in Alma during their training, while also creating a pipeline of doctors for the long term benefit of the community.

“Studies show that physicians are most likely to remain in the state where they complete their residency training,” said Arturas Klugas, M.D., family medicine physician and director of the residency program. “To ensure we have enough doctors in our state, it was critical to increase the number of residency slots available in Michigan, and our program helps meet that need. Furthermore, providing training opportunities in rural areas helps ensure that physicians who are devoted to serving rural areas are well-equipped to practice where the need is greatest. Our program focuses on the unique challenges of providing medical care in rural areas, which include population health factors, socioeconomic factors, and a need for primary care providers to be more well-rounded so they can manage care with less reliance on subspecialists.”

Two of the graduating physicians, Abigail Ducheine, M.D., and Nayab Qureshi, M.D., are joining the residency program’s faculty and will remain in the practice to care for patients while helping to train the next generation of providers. A third doctor, Robert Reichmann, M.D., will relocate to MidMichigan’s family medicine office in Shepherd where he will welcome new patients along with Physician Assistant Matthew Flegel, P.A.-C. The final graduate, Robina Ahmad, M.D., is joining the hospitalist program at Gratiot to care for inpatients when they are hospitalized.

“We’re proud of our graduates, who we know will provide excellent and compassionate care,” said Dr. Klugas. “We’re also looking forward to welcoming more patients to our practice. It has been challenging in the past for area residents to get in to local doctors, and this program enables us to care for them right here on the hospital campus. We also have the unique ability to see our patients both in the office and when they need to be hospitalized, plus we provide pregnancy care, we deliver babies, and we can continue caring for the mother, child and the entire family after the birth. In fact, we currently are seeking more pediatric patients and pregnant patients to join our practice.”

Those who would like more information about the Family Practice Center in Alma may call (989) 629-8140 or visit www.midmichigan.org/fpca.

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