Letter from the Director

So you’ve decided to become a family doctor, and not just a family doctor, but a rural family doctor.  And you’re searching for a strong training program that will prepare you to practice full spectrum family medicine in a rural community…but you also understand that healthcare is changing, and that family doctors of the future won’t just need to be well-trained in the core disciplines, but will also need to know how to engage in population health and function as leaders of high-functioning clinical teams.

You want strong professional role models that will help you become the physician you know our nation’s rural communities need. After all, 1 in 5 Americans live in a rural area, but only 1 in 10 doctors practice in rural areas, creating a maldistribution that has far-reaching effects on the quality of life rural Americans experience.

You want to train in a rural community hospital, but you also understand that affiliation with a major hospital system, academic medical center, and medical school brings important resources to bear on your educational experience.

Well, this is the rural program you’ve been waiting for. We are Seneca Family Medicine Residency Program, a rural stand-alone program affiliated with Prisma Health and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville. Our new state-of-the art clinic, Center for Family Medicine-Oconee, is on Oconee Medical Campus in Seneca, South Carolina, 15 minutes from Clemson University and one hour west of Greenville in the “Golden Corner” of South Carolina. Oconee Memorial Hospital is a 169 bed facility that offers a robust learning environment for core, specialty, and elective rotations.

Yes, we’re a new program, but we’re not new at this. Our faculty has over 30 years of collective teaching experience, and we are dedicated to training you to be a competent, compassionate, future-oriented family physician prepared to engage in sustainable full spectrum rural family medicine.  And we are taking a fresh, new look at how to train family physicians, infusing a healthy dose of what you will need to know to practice effectively in rural communities over the next 20-30 years.

You want great training…but you won’t always be at work. We get it. Lifestyle is important to us too.  Rest assured, whether it’s hiking and biking in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, navigating the Chattooga River, fishing and playing on one of the county’s three large lakes (Jocassee, Keowee, and Hartwell), attending Clemson athletic events, or exploring multiple nearby mountain resort communities, our neck of the woods offers virtually unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities, and offers a southern climate that makes it feasible to get out and do it year-round.

So come and check us out…we look forward to meeting you and showing you around!


Aaron Zeller, MD FAAFP

Program Director