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Kearney Family Practice Residency Experience

The Kearney Family Practice Residency Experience

Residents in Kearney will complete their rotations at CHI Health Good Samaritan, a 267-bed facility, which serves a population of 340,000 located across central Nebraska and northern Kansas. The largest hospital outside of the Omaha and Lincoln area, CHI Health Good Samaritan offers medical and surgical services typically found only in metropolitan areas, providing residents a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience that will benefit them wherever they may practice in the future. CHI Health Good Samaritan sees nearly 10,000 inpatient admissions a year, and in 2012, expanded the hospital to include new intensive care and Progressive Care medical/surgical floors, new operating rooms, and an expanded heart center. 


Physicians on staff at CHI Health Good Samaritan have come both from Kearney and the surrounding rural communities, as well as from other areas of the nation seeking a progressive community without the burden of long commutes, crowded streets and a high cost of living. CHI Health Good Samaritan also attracts international physicians, many of who came to Kearney through J-1 Visas and chose to stay in the community long after their Visa obligations were met.

CHI Health Good Samaritan has hosted the Rural Residency Training Track since 1993. The UNMC Rural Residency program is very competitive with 35-50 residents interviewed each year.  
Click here to find the criteria for application.

In Kearney, residents have the opportunity to train under the mentorship of Dr. Rob Messbarger, a program veteran who has taught residents since 1997. Dr. Amy Paysen, physician at Family Practice Associates and former resident, says, “I loved my time with the Kearney Rural Residency Track. Dr. Messbarger was the main reason I chose Kearney. I felt very comfortable with him as the Director and felt that we shared a lot of the same values. I also felt that his style of practice was how I wanted to practice, as well.” 



Residents in the Kearney program have access to a wide variety of primary care practitioners and specialists to serve as mentors. Rotations are flexible and include the following:

Behavioral Health Neurology
Cardiology Obstetrics
CORE Ophthalmology
Dermatology Orthopedics
Emergency Medicine Pediatrics
ENT (Otolaryngology) Practice Management
General Surgery Pulmonology/Intensive Care
Geriatrics Radiology
Gynecology Sports Medicine
Internal Medicine Urology
Introduction to Family/Community Medicine

The medical community is welcoming of residents and participates fully in the program.

Dr. A.J. Strickland says, “Kearney is a great place to get an authentic, well-rounded family medicine training experience. Here I feel like a colleague and respected member of the medical community. I couldn’t ask for a better group of physicians to learn from then those here. With the Rural Residency Training Track set up to closely resemble the structure and lifestyle of a full spectrum family physician, I have no doubt that when I’m finished with my training, I will be able to hit the ground running.”

The Primary Care Clinic Experience

In Kearney, “home base” is Family Practice Associates, a Patient Centered Medical Home, with seven physicians and three Physician Assistants, offering a full range of services from prenatal care to geriatrics. Family Practice Associates is proud to employ three physicians who completed the UNMC Rural Residency Track program, all of whom are happy to share their experiences and answer any questions you may have. As a Patient Centered Medical Home, Family Practice Associates prides itself in being a progressive, friendly place to learn and practice medicine, allowing our practitioners to take the time needed to truly involve their patients in making decisions about the care they receive, with a focus on prevention as well as disease management.

Residents will complete rotations at the various specialty clinics in town and will spend one month, during their third year, at a rural clinic of their choosing.

The Kearney Community

Kearney, a white-collar community of 30,000 people, is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Being a University town affords many benefits to this small city, including diversity, arts, sporting events, and opportunities for further education. Kearney Public Schools offers a strong school system, with a new high school under construction, 12 public elementary schools and two middle schools, many of which have been renovated or built within the last five to ten years to reflect a growing, young population. Private, religious-based education is also available through two private elementary schools, three private middle schools and a private high school.

Kearney is well-known for a thriving restored downtown area and a beautiful park system, with a hike/bike trail running throughout the city. Both Kearney Parks & Recreation and the Kearney Family YMCA offer year-round activities for all ages, and have strong sports programs that prepare kids to be competitive in club and school sports once they enter junior high and high school. Private and public organizations offer programs in dance, tennis, soccer, football, baseball, softball and other activities.

The community is also home to Viaero Events Center which houses the Tri-City Storm, a Tier 1 Junior Ice Hockey Team, hockey and figure skating lessons, and brings in various concerts and shows throughout the year. Recently renovated venues, including the Merryman Performing Arts Center and the World Theatre, as well as the Kearney Community Theatre, the Crane River Theatre Company and the University offer a wide variety of entertainment.

With continued population growth, Kearney is always building, both commercially and residentially. The city planners are progressive, which is reflected in the number of new businesses that open each year as well as the new neighborhoods being constructed in both the north and south areas of the city. People interested in Kearney will find that the cost-of-living is generally low, with services like daycare being much more affordable than in the larger cities.

Kearney is located 180 miles from Omaha, 120 miles from Lincoln and 350 miles from Denver, allowing Kearney residents to live in a rural environment while still having access to cities. The Kearney Regional Airport offers service to Denver and the Central Nebraska Regional Airport (located 40 miles away in Grand Island) offers daily flights to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth.

We encourage you to check out the Kearney Family Practice Residency program as you consider your career path as well as a home for your family.