Prior to 1996, there was only one academic medical center in New Mexico, at the University of New Mexico (UNM). In 1994, the New Mexico state legislature passed a number of primary care enhancing bills including funding to UNM for the development of 1+2 model residencies in Las Cruces, Roswell and Santa Fe. By 1996, all three were up and running under the auspices of UNM where the year one training of family physicians took place. The final 2 years of training were to take place in the home communities. In 1997, Congress passed legislation capping the number of residents nationally and at existing programs. This has caused a zero growth problem in New Mexico for primary care. By 1998, the Las Cruces program decided to become an independent 3-year residency program at Memorial Medical Center.
Over the last 16 years, these 4 programs met regularly at state American Association of Family Practice meetings, to discuss common training goals and opportunities. In 2010, Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) in Silver City developed a 1+2 model and became the first non-hospital based, Community Health Center (CHC) based family medicine program in New Mexico. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the Roswell program lost its accreditation when there was a large turnover of physicians in the community, many of whom were preceptors or faculty for the Roswell program. However, all five Program Directors and respective Program Coordinators continued to meet quarterly and ultimately decided to organize more formally. On behalf of the informal network, the Southwest Center for Health Innovation applied for a federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) Network Planning grant to better assist in the business planning of the Consortium. As a result, the New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium (NMPCTC) was initiated.
The Consortium developed a facilitated strategic plan including reviewing other regional consortia funding and successfully obtained funding from the New Mexico state legislature through the Medicaid program. Their association and collaboration has been greatly enhanced by the efforts of the Consortium, which began to formalize its structure in 2011 and incorporated early in 2013. The NMPCTC became a IRS 501(c)3 corporation and began working on the goals of the organization.