Family Medicine Residence Training – From The Director

Thank you for your interest in the Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency!

We are a diverse community of learners committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive primary care to the rural and underserved communities of central Maine through a training program for residents and students that aims to be both rigorous and personally fulfilling.

MDFMR was founded in 1973, and has advocated for the value and relevance of the family doctor on the local and national stages ever since. Our initial goal was to train physicians in the full breadth of primary care to serve rural communities in Maine; now we feel confident that our graduates have both the clinical acumen as well as the independent learning skills to provide basic health care for all people anywhere in the country or around the world.

Community-based Rural Family Practice

We are the only residency in our community hospital, the Alfond Center for Health, and therefore we offer a hands-on, experiential style of learning that provides an accurate preparation for work in underserved or rural areas. Our residents are experienced in newborn resuscitation and stabilization and transfer of critically ill adult and obstetric patients. Intrinsic to our community-based setting is that MDFMR faculty physicians are role models in providing full spectrum primary care, attending with residents in the ICU, labor and delivery, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics.

A few of our strengths:  Osteopathy – Geriatric Medicine – Sports Medicine – Integrative Medicine – Community Activism

At Maine-Dartmouth we are particularly proud of several unique aspects of our curriculum. First, we are an integrated, dually-accredited residency through both the American Osteopathic Association and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Our MD and DO residents both benefit from a three-year longitudinal curriculum in osteopathy as well as from the integration of osteopathic manipulative medicine into the primary care office and inpatient setting.

In addition, residents are exposed to teaching by fellows and faculty in osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine (ONMM) and geriatric medicine. Through our geriatric medicine fellowship we offer extensive exposure to nursing home continuity care, interdisciplinary team-based assessment, inpatient and outpatient consultative care, and geriatric systems of care. We have family practice attendings boarded in geriatric medicine who (along with our fellows) are enthusiastic about mentoring students and residents in the care of this challenging and growing population.

Through our ONMM Program, residents are exposed to the use of advanced osteopathic manipulative techniques in the hospital and outpatient centers.  The Maine Dartmouth Collaborative Care Center provides a holistic approach to patients with chronic diseases and pain.

We were one of the first residencies to pilot a national integrative medicine curriculum which several of our faculty contributed to.  Residents continue to participate in the Integrative Medicine in Residency curriculum; they develop an appreciation of integrative medicine concepts and a basic understanding of many of the complementary techniques that their patients take advantage of.

The Residency now has a sports medicine fellowship, started in 2013, which currently has two fellows. The Residency’s sports medicine training is particularly strong based on exposure to our two fellowship-trained sports medicine faculty as well as community based orthopedic physicians.

Our residency has a long-standing history of active involvement in the community. Residents have run for public office and testified at state legislative hearings; physicians and staff regularly volunteer at local service agencies; many of us are members of community arts ensembles and athletic leagues. In collaboration with our patients, we strive to continually reassess our community’s health needs and work to provide services to those who would otherwise go without care. For example, residency faculty offer the only access to various family planning services in the area, including vasectomy and therapeutic abortion; we have partnered with local dentists and oral surgeons to train our faculty and residents in dental extraction for our uninsured patients; we have active substance abuse treatment programs at both of our residency practice centers.

New Regional Hospital

This “state of the art” hospital, known as the Alfond Center for Health, presents a wonderful opportunity for the Residency, incoming residents, and patients. Since we are an unopposed training program, Maine-Dartmouth residents have uncommon access to all inpatient resources and services including patients in the ICU, medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, and other areas.

Commitment To Diversity

You might not think that a residency in central Maine would be a picture of diversity; however, a visit to our program will surprise you. Our faculty and residents have lived and worked all over the world, are fluent in many languages, and bring to their role as physicians a variety of customs, values and beliefs. We share differences in race, religion, sexual orientation, and political views which lead to lively conversation at ethics conferences, sign-out, and over dinner or at movie nights. The Residency is clearly a richer and more dynamic community because of this dialogue, and our staff and patients share in the benefit. MDFMR is committed to maintaining a diverse community of learners and to sharing lessons learned about diversity and respect with our colleagues in medicine. To that end, we have been leaders in cultural competency training in medical communities throughout New England. The Residency is also active in reaching out to the underserved immigrant communities in Maine, for example partnering with the Maine Migrant Health Program to staff mobile medical units during fruit harvest and ongoing continuity clinics throughout the region.

In his book Heirs of General Practice, John McPhee chronicles the founding of our residency at the start of the family practice movement in this country. He paints a picture of a band of motivated physicians with a revolutionary, idealistic, and patient-centered vision of medical care. Though much has changed in medicine in the last 35 years, our residency remains a place where alternative ideas are thoughtfully considered and the impact a physician can have on the life of a family and a community is not underestimated.

We welcome your enthusiasm for family medicine and invite you to learn more about Maine-Dartmouth!  Please feel free to contact us with questions or to arrange a visit.


Harry Cold




Harry Colt, MD
Residency Director