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Virginia Mason IM Residents

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Internal Medicine Residency: Virginia Mason Medical Center

“We create tailored experiences to develop exceptional physicians, fulfilled individuals, and innovative leaders.”

The Internal Medicine Residency Program at Virginia Mason offers an academically rigorous education in a nationally recognized community hospital. Our residency combines team-based learning with one-to-one mentorship activities and allows residents the flexibility to pursue their individual interests.

Message from the Program Director

Brandee Grooms, MD, FACP

Seattle, 1920. A small group of doctors formed a new medical center where teamwork would be celebrated. They named the hospital after their daughters and worked with purpose to grow large enough for residency programs to flourish. Long before the concept of patient safety was widely recognized, they published a paper dedicated to the evaluation of medical errors with the intent of learning from mistakes. Over time, this approach grew into taking novel and bold action to prevent mistakes and protect patients from health care related harm.

While Virginia Mason and its residency programs grew, so did the culture around ideas. In the 1950s Virginia Mason took an innovate approach, encouraging and rewarding anyone, in any position, who brought forward good ideas. This brought forward the voices of women, people of color, and frontline workers typically not empowered by the traditional medical hierarchy.

These actions became the foundations of the culture we continue to embrace and promote today: respect for people and appreciation of the patient experience.

Today. Teamwork, innovation, and respect for people remain core to our culture. These values were put to the test while answering the call to respond to a global pandemic and remain central to how we emerge. The voices of our patients and our residents shape every aspect of how we learn, work, and grow as we continue to serve the communities of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest for our next 100 years. Joining our residency program means becoming a vital part and shaping Virginia Mason’s story.

Here’s what matching at Virginia Mason could mean for you:

  • Train with an organization that is an international leader in patient safety and quality improvement.
  • Experience the connection and warmth of a community program while having access to:  

The rigor of a high complexity, closed ICU experience supported by dedicated intensivists.

The scholarship of research in conjunction with specialists who will mentor you throughout residency.

A tertiary referral center experience—caring for a diverse, medically-complex population who come from a wide referral net to access our expertise in areas like complex pancreaticobiliary interventions, hyperbaric treatments, transplant, stroke, cancer and acute cardiac care.

Ideas to Action—shaping curriculum and engaging in educational experiences including topics like stigma, institutional racism, health care disparities and inequity, transgender care.

Leadership development—our Leadership in Quality Improvement (LQI) Pathway lets you dive deeply into understanding how the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS) improves health care delivery.

Tailoring your experience—whether your career goal is primary care, hospital medicine or fellowship.

Enhancing your education—participate in medical student teaching, art in medicine, simulation training, retreats, and CME days.

Becoming immersed in world-class patient care is an amazing way to receive your training. I hope you consider becoming a part of our story!

Looking forward,

Brandee Grooms, MD, FACP

Brandee Grooms

Brandee Grooms, MD, FACP

Message from the Internal Medicine Chief Residents

We are proud to serve as the Chief Medical Residents for 2023-2024 and want to share with you what makes Virginia Mason such an incredible and unique place to train. Our program strives to realize its mission of cultivating a supportive community of fulfilled individuals and compassionate physicians who invest in collaboration, innovation and growth in equity and advocacy in service to our patients and society. We would like to highlight a few of the ways in which we do this.

Alex Kettering, MD

Alex Kettering, MD, Inpatient Chief Resident

Sonya Malashanka, MD

Sonya Malashanka, MD, Outpatient Chief Resident

Exceptional Physicians

Virginia Mason cultivates the collegial atmosphere of a community program while offering amazing academic opportunities. Virginia Mason is a tertiary referral center for patients in the greater northwest region, including Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. It is a comprehensive stroke center and home to the GI Centers of Excellence. Our residents work in multiple outpatient practice settings through Virginia Mason’s regional clinics, and through our partnership with Eastgate Public Health Center. As a result, our residents are privileged to care for a wide range of culturally, medically, and socio-economically diverse patients.

Our residents develop close relationships with each other and with faculty. They connect with mentors committed to their success in all areas of medicine, including primary care, hospital medicine and subspecialties.

Fulfilled Individuals

The training at Virginia Mason goes beyond learning the technical aspects of medicine. We strive to develop our residents as whole individuals with focused teaching on a growth mindset, the science of habit formation, understanding cognitive biases, stress-reduction techniques and developing personal mission statements. As a small and agile program, we are proud to maintain an ongoing dialogue about how we can sustainably grow into our best selves. We are also protective of time away from the hospital and believe part of the residency experience should include time with loved ones, quality sleep, and cultivating a life outside of the hospital. There is time to enjoy and explore the Pacific Northwest, whose beauty is unmatched.

Innovative Leaders

We believe in training residents for their roles as physician leaders. Whether it be through the Leadership in Quality Improvement Pathway, engagement in medical education, or involvement in one of the many resident committees, residents are presented with opportunities to grow as leaders in their areas of interest.

Because our program exists within Virginia Mason, residents become knowledgeable of the internationally acclaimed Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS), a Lean-based quality improvement methodology utilized by the entire organization to drive innovation, reduce waste, and achieve our goal of being the quality leader in health care.

We are honored by your interest in the Virginia Mason Internal Medicine Residency program and we look forward to meeting you!

Sonya Malashanka, MD, and Alex Kettering, MD