BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Billings Clinic has begun a program to help train psychiatrists with the hope some of them will stay in Montana, where there is a shortage.

The Billings Gazette reports the first class of three residents began their studies in July.

Billings Clinic’s program is part of the University of Washington Psychiatric Residency Training Program. Students will spend their first two years of their residency in Seattle and the final two at Billings Clinic.

As it grows, the program will have 12 residents, three in each year of study in Seattle and Billings.

Psychiatrist Julie Kelso, director of the residency program, says Montana is working to improve access to mental health care by increasing the number of psychiatrists, using telemedicine to reach patients in outlying areas and having physicians consult with psychiatrists on less serious cases.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com