It’s hard to believe that Summit Pacific first broke ground in 2011 with the ongoing buzz that surrounds their nearly constant expansions and projects. Since the doors opened to the main Medical Center in East Grays Harbor County in 2013, the facility and its offerings have grown to include a third primary care clinic, Wellness Center, Virtual Care, Urgent Care and the addition of 3D mammography and bone density scans, to name a few. All the while, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Summit Pacific has also managed to open their new Family Medicine Clinic.

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Resident physician Dr. Rabab Cheema was born in India and raised in both India and Canada. She has a special interest in community service and is now seeing patients at the Family Medicine Clinic. Photo courtesy: Summit Pacific

The brand-new Summit Pacific Family Medicine Clinic, located in the Wellness Center, was created for graduates with either a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. These individuals have completed four years of rigorous education learning a broad range of medical knowledge and clinical patient care skills. Upon graduation from medical school, recent graduates must further advance their training through a residency program. The graduate doctors are then known as residents until their training has concluded. For family medicine physicians, their residency program is three years long. During this time, they’ll gain hands on knowledge and clinical skills that will assist them in their journey to become fully licensed and able to practice independently.

The Family Medicine Clinic is an ideal fit for Summit Pacific as their board-certified family medicine physicians and professionals are able to partner together to teach and supervise the residents. Residents will benefit immensely from the collaboration with the entire health care team as they learn how best to serve the Grays Harbor community.

At Summit Pacific’s fully accredited Family Medicine Clinic, there are currently two residents who began their training June 15. Dr. Rabab Cheema was born in India, has a keen interest in community service and served as a mentor while in medical school. Cheema is passionate about providing quality care to under-served populations.

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Dr. Miller was born in Olympia, loves the Pacific Northwest and is excited about returning to the area fir his residency program. Photo courtesy: Summit Pacific

The second resident physician is Dr. Roy D. Miller. Miller was born in Olympia, has experience as a medical technologist and has worked in a microbiology lab. He is passionate about rural emergency medicine and volunteered as an emergency medical technician in Wisconsin. Both residents graduated medical school in early 2020, relocated to Grays Harbor to put down roots and are eager to get to know their patients and serve their needs.

For community members that have never been seen by a resident doctor, there are quite a few benefits that come with these appointments. As a physician supervisor is on hand for the duration of the appointment, there are two sets of eyes and knowledge in the room. Residents are also known to spend a lot more time with their patients as they collect detailed patient history and data, offer a broad range of in-office procedures, conduct extremely thorough exams and provide comprehensive explanations.

A few of the routine services that are provided by the resident physicians include physical exams; wellness checks; sports physicals; in-office medical procedures such as skin biopsies and arthritis injections; well-woman and reproductive health care; prenatal, obstetrical, and post-partum care; immunizations and much more. The Family Medicine Clinic is an ideal place for the entire family to be seen as the residents work as part of the entire healthcare team to diagnose, treat and coordinate healthcare among other medical specialists as needed.

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Summit Pacific’s board-certified family medicine physicians, professionals and healthcare team members work together as a team to also teach and supervise their family medicine residents in clinical patient care. Photo courtesy: Summit Pacific

While right now the Family Medicine Clinic has two resident physicians available, two more will be added in 2021 and the final two will be added in 2022. “All of us at Summit Pacific are very excited to have this program in our clinic that will eventually include six resident physicians,” states Dr. Laurie Belknap, program director at Summit Pacific. While 2020 has been difficult for everyone, the entire team at Summit Pacific aims to provide comprehensive care while taking all of the COVID-19 precautions including mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Billing for the Family Medicine Residency Clinic is the same as for regular primary care visits with a supervising physician. This includes copays and deductibles. To learn more about the Family Medicine Clinic and the two current resident physicians, visit Summit Pacific’s website.

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