Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program

Our THCGME program supports new and expanded primary care medical and dental residency programs in community-based ambulatory patient care settings.

How is our program different?


While other residency programs base training out of hospitals, our Teaching Health Center programs focus training in community-based primary care settings, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

We support increased primary care residency training in the following areas:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Internal Medicine-Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry
  • General Dentistry
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Geriatrics

The opportunities we create for residents improves the distribution of the primary care workforce into economically disadvantaged areas through emphasis on underserved communities and populations.

Who do we serve?

We focus on increasing the primary care workforce, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Teaching Health Centers are located predominantly in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics and Tribal health centers, which prioritize care for underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

In fact, over half (59%) of THCGME program training sites are in Medically Underserved Communities (MUCs). Training in these communities increases health care services and primary care workforce in underserved communities.

What is our impact?

In the current academic year (2020-2021), the THCGME program supports the training of 769 residents in 60 primary care residency programs, across 25 states.

  • The most frequently represented discipline is family medicine (65%).
  • In academic year 2018-2019, nearly all residents received training in a primary care setting and 80% of residents trained in an MUC and/or rural community.
  • Since 2011, the THCGME program has supported the training of over 1,148 new primary care physicians and dentists that have graduated and entered the workforce.

Why is our work important?

The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis projects the total demand for primary care physicians will grow by 38,320 full-time equivalents (FTEs) between 2013 and 2025, estimating a shortage of 23,640 primary care physician FTEs by 2025. 

The THCGME program is a vital supply line to meet this demand. 

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2020