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Internal Medicine Residency – Norton

Norton Community Hospital

Norton Community Hospital takes great pride in training young physicians for our rural, medically under-served area. This dedication has resulted in an increase in quality primary care for southwest Virginia and the surrounding area and the growth of our institution.

We offer the benefits of rural living with the opportunity to train in a modern and progressive hospital.

About the residency program

Our history

In 1997, Norton Community developed a vision for Southwest Virginia to train local medical students to become local physicians.

Then in August 1999, the first group of third-year medical students from Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM), which is now Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, arrived for two years of clinical training.

With tremendous support from the hospital board of directors and administrative staff, and with guidance from PCSOM, Norton Community’s vision became a reality with the opening of an internal medicine residency program in July 2001.

Our program today

Norton Community now offers a now offers a continuity of osteopathic and allopathic medical education from the third year school through the final year of residency.

The hospital serves as a training hub for medical students from three surrounding medical schools:

  • Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU DCOM)
  • Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM)

This ACGME-approved residency program offers 26 total seats in internal medicine.


The program features a traditional IM track and emphasis may be tailored for individual residents depending upon their future practice area of interest. The resident may choose the most popular focus as a hospitalist, traditional practice or out-patient practice in internal medicine.

The strength of the residency program is its hands-on approach with direct responsibility in patient care. Enthusiasm for teaching – from physicians to support staff to administration – results in a supportive, family-like atmosphere that is very conducive to learning.

Core rotations are completed at Norton Community Hospital, with subspecialty rotations available with affiliates in Northeast Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky.

Didactic education occurs through:

  • Morning reports/Grand Rounds
  • Board review
  • Journal Club
  • Harrison’s Club
  • Morbidity and Mortality Club
  • Clinical case conferences
  • Self-directed learning activities

Residents spend one-half day a week in an ambulatory medical clinic following their own patients throughout the course of the residency.

Learn more about the curriculum here.

Program features

Graduates of the program are fully competent to practice internal medicine in either the hospital or ambulatory setting.

We utilize testing bank questions using Challenger, Johns Hopkins PEAC modules and MKSAP.

We offer a variety of training events, such as:

  • Mock codes
  • Rapid response
  • Intubation clinic
  • Suture clinic
  • Use of femoral and central line, lumbar puncture, ultrasound-guided paracentesis and thoracentesis mannequins

Norton internal medicine residency’s graduating class again has 100-percent board pass rate.

ACGME-accredited training facility

  • 129-bed not-for-profit facility
  • Recent $3.3 million radiology renovation
  • $12 million renovation and expansion project
  • New surgery wing addition
  • New HealthPlex center for ease of outpatient clinic and service access
  • Over 80 physicians representing an array of specialties
  • Easy access to medical libraries including Ballad Health, DCOM and KYCOM
  • Competitive salary and benefits package
  • Telemedicine technology available for distance learning
  • Outpatients visits – 38,325
  • Newly renovated expanded emergency room – 20,722 visits
  • Annual inpatient admissions – 5,066
  • Baby deliveries
  • Designated resident call room with three separate sleep rooms

Advanced clinical and diagnostic medical technology

  • Family Birthing Center
  • 24-hour emergency department
  • Inpatient/outpatient surgery center
  • Stereotactic breast biopsy
  • Pain management
  • Anesthesiology
  • 12-bed intensive care
  • Coronary care
  • Oncology services
  • Regional lung center
  • Regional rehab center
  • Cardiopulmonary medicine
  • Sleep studies
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Lithotripsy
  • Hyperbaric medicine
  • Pediatric care
  • Geriatric care
  • Telemedicine
  • Education and screening
  • Laboratory

Our leadership

Statement by Mark Leonard, FACHE

Norton Community Hospital CEO and President

Norton Community Hospital’s residency program has a strong reputation for delivering a high-quality academic experience.

Our facility is pleased to offer an exceptional program that provides residents, many of whom were raised in this region, a path to learn and later practice medicine close to home.

Statement by Jody Bentley, DO

DME & Program Director

Dr. Jody BentleyThank you for taking the time to visit the NCH Internal Medicine Residency Program homepage. Here, I hope you will find valuable information and we welcome you to reach out to us in the graduate medical education office with any questions you may have concerning our program, the transition to a single accreditation system, and competency-based medical education.

Since the program’s inception in 2001, our goal has been to provide our residents and medical students with a dynamic and diverse set of skills which will enable them to shape their practices to the needs of the communities in which they will live and practice.

We offer a curriculum that includes a wide range of experiences including internal medicine in a diverse rural setting rich in unique pathology and medical need, hospitalist medicine in the suburban/urban environment, exposure to a large array of sub-specialties of medicine and specialties, and preventative/outpatient healthcare.

Our goal is to prepare resident physicians to practice internal medicine no matter the setting, all while under the supervised of highly qualified and successful teaching faculty, each of whom is unique but all with strong backgrounds in clinical practice.

The IM program is vastly committed to our students and resident’s equaled only by our commitment to the community and surrounding areas. This ensures an academic environment that facilitates higher learning and patient wellness.

On behalf of our graduate medical education team, I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to our program and look forward to serving you.

Current Faculty


David Nauss, MD

Diagnostic Radiology

Thomas Haines, MD


Todd Breeding, MD
Michael A. Ponder, MD

Emergency Medicine

Chris Bruner, MD
Robert Bechtel, MD
Gordon Williams, MD


Matthew Beasey, MD

Family Practice

Matt Wilson, MD
Heath Cook, DO


Thomas Sullivan, MD


Eric Groen, DO
John Jenkins, DO
Marissa Vito Cruz, MD
Kathleen Hodge, MD
Brandon Moore, DO
Audrey Campbell, DO
Stephen Ikele, MD
Stephen Dexter, MD


Vishal Raj, MD

General Surgery

Luciano D'Amato, MD
Lance Cary Dozier, MD

Infectious Disease

Tamara Musgrave, MD
Fares Khater, MD
Rabab Elmazayan, MD


Abrar Ahmad, MD
Steven Butler, MD
Ravinder Bhagrath, MD
Duc Vu, MD

Internal Medicine

Jody Bentley, DO
James Wesley Campbell, DO
Matthew Cusano, MD
Allen Mullins, Jr., MD
Brian Newberry, DO
Bernie Sergent, DO
David Sheppard, DO
Byron Thomas, DO
Matt Breeding, DO
April Hall, DO


Steven Morgan, MD
Shawn Nelson, MD
Stephen Wayne, MD
Douglas Williams, MD
Earl Wilson, MD
Naveed Ahmed, MD


Roseann Freundel, DO
Matthew Lenhard, MD
Wade Baker, MD

Occupational Medicine/Sports Medicine

Kevin Blackwell, DO


Daryl Pierce, MD
Malcolm Mathews, MD


Khalid A. Awan, MD
Musa Awan, MD

Orthopedic Medicine

Kent VanBuecken, MD


Vishal Raj, MD
Michael Greene, MD
Merle Girish, MD
Adil Warsey, MD

Pediatric Medicine

Jeff Begley, MD
Bernard Manatu, MD
Wes Campbell, DO
Tommy Potter, MD


Jeffrey Bieber, MD
Christopher Morris, MD


Gene Shepard, MD

Affiliate Hospitals

Indian Path Medical Center
Johnston Memorial Hospital
Johnson City Medical Center
Dickenson Community Hospital
Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital
Pikeville Medical Center


To apply

Applicants for the Internal Medicine Residency Program must use ERAS to apply –

Contact information

If you have any questions, please contact the Norton Community Hospital Graduate Medical Education Office at (276) 679-3488.

Contact Renau Hazlewood by email at or by mail at the following address:

Beth Hubbard, MBA, AMME
NW Market Residency Program Manager
Norton Community Hospital
96 15th Street, NW
MAB #1, Suite 106
Norton, VA 24273

Other numbers

Fax: (276) 679-1500