Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Kalispell doctor resigns from UM residency program following criticism over posts about vaccine

by Darrell Ehrlick Daily Montanan
| December 1, 2021 6:00 AM

A Kalispell doctor who drew public criticism for his role supervising doctors-in-training with the University of Montana and while serving on the West Valley School Board has left the higher education post, according to officials there.

Dr. Justin Buls, who promoted content about the Covid-19 vaccine that was flagged as misinformation by Facebook, and whose postings included syringes arranged in the shape of a swastika, has left as the Kalispell supervisor for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana program through UM. His outspoken takes on vaccines and Covid raised hackles with the community and raised questions about supervising future doctors.

His resignation was announced to faculty and students on Nov. 26, but the resignation officially takes effect on Tuesday.

UM spokesman Dave Kuntz characterized the departure as a “mutual decision.”

Dr. Samantha Greenberg, who was been with the residency program since 2018, will assume Buls’ duties.

The family medicine residency trains doctors through the collaborative WWAMI program, which is a consortium of western states that have partnered through the University of Washington to train and place doctors in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

Through the residency program in Kalispell, physicians spend the first year at the University of Montana in Missoula and their final two years caring for patients at Logan Health facilities.

According to Logan Health's website, Buls began practicing with the North Valley Professional Center in Columbia Falls in 2008, then expanded his practice to include patients through the Flathead Community Health Center in Kalispell in 2013. In 2014 he became affiliated with the University of Montana Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana as the program’s Kalispell site director.

Buls is a Flathead High School graduate. He was elected to the West Valley School board in 2021. His term ends in 2024.

Darrell Ehrlick is editor of the Daily Montanan, a nonprofit newsroom based in Helena. The Daily Inter Lake contributed to this report.

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