Director of Internal Medicine Residency Program is 'perfect person' to lead effort

2013-04-28T00:10:00Z 2014-03-12T17:30:18Z Director of Internal Medicine Residency Program is 'perfect person' to lead effortBy CINDY UKEN cuken@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Dr. Robert Bush, a Montana native, has been hired to direct the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Billings Clinic and is said to be the ideal person to lead the new effort.

Dr. Steven Gerstner, who has been an internist with Billings Clinic since 1989, will serve as associate director of the program.

“It’s a big deal to start this type of residency training program in Billings,” said Dr. Steven Weinberger, executive vice president and CEO of the Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians. “It’s an even bigger deal to have someone of Dr. Bush’s quality directing the new program. He’s really a perfect person to do this.”

Weinberger said he was “pleased” when he learned Bush has been tapped to fill the coveted position, adding that it’s significant to secure someone as experienced and respected nationally as Bush to start a new training program.

Bush, 58, has an extensive background in medical education, including serving as program director and associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

He attended medical school at the University of California San Francisco and completed his residency in internal medicine at Virginia Mason Hospital. He has served on the American Board of Internal Medicine, Residency Review Committee for Internal Medicine, the Education Committee of the American College of Physicians, and currently serves on the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners, a national organization responsible for accrediting hospitals around the country.

Bush was recently made a Master of the American College of Physicians, the highest level of accomplishment for the national organization of internal medicine. Only 47 were named this year across the nation.

Bush has also been a leader of internal-medicine training at the national level, having served on the national Residency Review Committee for Internal Medicine, where he also led the Committee’s efforts to develop innovative programs in medical education. He has served as the chair of the Clinical Skills Committee at the American College of Physicians, which is responsible for developing programs to teach clinical skills to medical students, residents and practicing clinicians.

“Having his skill set come into Billings to lead this new residency program is incredibly important,” said Dr. Bill Iobst, vice president of academic affairs for the American Board of Internal Medicine. “He’s a critical part of the excitement about that program.”

Gerstner said the clinic is fortunate to get Bush. “He’s well-known in academic circles. He’s a star.”

Gerstner, a Wyoming native, attended medical school at the University of California in Los Angeles and did his internship at the University of Washington in Seattle. He also completed his residency at the University of Washington. Gerstner is a clinical assistant professor for the University of Washington Department of Medicine and serves as a site coordinator for the WWAMI program.

He has served as chair of the Department of Medicine at Billings Clinic and also served as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Gerstner is a member of the American College of Physicians, Montana Medical Association and Yellowstone Valley Medical Society. He has served as medical director for Aspen Meadows Nursing Home and St. John’s Lutheran Home.

“We feel very fortunate and pleased that Dr. Bush has joined us to lead our new residency efforts and that Dr. Gerstner will also have an important leadership role with our program,” said Dr. Nicholas Wolter, CEO of Billings Clinic. “Dr. Gerstner is one of the most respected and regarded physicians at the Billings Clinic, which makes him an excellent fit. As a practicing internist at the Clinic for many years, he has firsthand knowledge of how great the need is for this program.”

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