Residency program will grow ‘Doctors of the Future’

Jay FitzAnderson, Our Town Health

Covenant Health’s Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge has announced a new program that brings medical school graduates to the Knoxville-Oak Ridge area to continue their medical training to become family doctors. The Methodist Family Medicine Residency program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Methodist Medical Center is the sponsoring institution of the new Family Medicine Residency Program. The program will be integrated with the newly opened Methodist Family Medicine Clinic, located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The clinic offers family medicine and primary care services.

The unopposed residency program will be led by family medicine physician James Schindler, MD, MPH. Applications will open in summer 2023 and the program will welcome its first class of eight residents in July 2024.

“We will create a top-quality program that produces well-trained community physicians who will practice family medicine,” Dr. Schindler says. “Residents will have the resources of Methodist Medical Center and Covenant Health, plus the amazing community of Oak Ridge, and all the latest technology and training tools at their disposal. We will also assemble a faculty of attending physicians to oversee eight residents per year, with 24 total trainees once we reach our third year.”

Dr. Schindler adds, “Training to become a family medicine physician begins after four years of medical school with a three-year residency. Ongoing education and training continue throughout a physician’s career, as we never stop acquiring new knowledge and skills to provide the best possible care to our patients.”

The creation of this program has been in the works for several years. It aligns with the mission and goals of the Covenant Health enterprise as well as fulfills the need for more primary care in the Oak Ridge community. Dr. Schindler says the Methodist Family Medicine Clinic will be more than just a medical clinic. “By the completion of their training at Methodist Family Medicine Clinic, residents will be one step closer to becoming the ‘doctors of the future.’”

Methodist Family Medicine Clinic is a new primary care practice serving patients beginning in 2023. As a member of Covenant Medical Group, Covenant Health’s physician-practice division, the clinic will have all the resources of the larger health system.

The residency teaching clinic, teaching auditorium and academic offices will be housed at 200 New York Ave., Westmall Medical Park, Suite 150, in Oak Ridge.

Family medicine doctors provide continuous, coordinated and comprehensive health care for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases and parts of the body.

To learn more about the Methodist Family Medicine Program, visit

Covenant Health provided information for this story.


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