Southwest Virginia: An Ideal Location for Graduate Medical Education
Our faculty members come from all over the country to be part of this amazing program, and for good reason. Many of our attendings cite the combination of being surrounded by the mountains and a low cost of living that includes world class outdoor recreation, amazing restaurants, and incredible arts and music as a major draw to the area. Of course, this is in addition to working in a progressive, state of the art, busy ED that is committed to providing world class care to an entire region. Many would agree that this is the most fun and most exciting place to work and a great place to train.
Roanoke is located midway between New York City and Atlanta on I-81 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. It is only a 3 hour drive to Charlotte, N.C., and Richmond, Va., and is less than a 3.5 hour drive to Washington, D.C.
Life in Roanoke is a leisurely pace in a spectacular setting. Real estate remains affordable in the area, with appealing neighborhoods within 10 minutes of the hospital – many with award-winning neighborhood schools. Currently, there are over 500 residential units in downtown Roanoke, located just one mile from the Carilion Campus and serviced by a complimentary trolley.
Raising a family in Roanoke is easy. Excellence in public and private secondary schools is paired with internationally known opportunities for higher education such as Virginia Tech, Hollins University, Roanoke College, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke Center for Higher Education, the Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, and the brand new Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.
Roanoke’s location in the Blue Ridge Mountains allows access to the Blue Ridge Parkway with vast hiking, biking, riding trails and parks surrounded by panoramic vistas. The first Blue Ridge Parkway Marathon was held this year, on the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Roanoke City includes 60 parks and recreational venues, and Roanoke Valley Greenways feature miles of greenway corridor with multiple trails.
Smith Mountain Lake, with 500 miles of shoreline, is a only thirty-minute drive from Roanoke, and offers water sports, fishing, and scenic relaxation. Twenty miles of the Appalachian Trail stretch through the Roanoke Valley, allowing immediate access to the world-famous trail. In addition, Roanoke has a very active equestrian community, and outstanding snow-skiing and whitewater kayaking are only a short drive away.
Roanoke enjoys a thriving arts and cultural community and is proud of the Taubman Museum of Art, a $65 million dollar modern facility that recently featured a Rembrandt exhibit. Nearby, Center in the Square provides a free home to seven additional cultural organizations in the center of the downtown market area.
The O. Winston Link Museum, occupying the former Norfolk and Western Passenger Station, houses the photography of O. Winston Link, and there are numerous other art galleries and local artists. These paired with Mill Mountain Zoo, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and the Virginia Museum of Transportation all offer superb learning opportunities in a family-friendly entertainment.
Live music flourishes, with venues such as Kirk Avenue Music Hall, The Jefferson Center, and the Roanoke Center for Performing Arts providing a variety of musical acts. FloydFest is a nationally known bluegrass festival held each July in Floyd, 30 miles outside of Roanoke. The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke and the Annual Sidewalk Art Show are exceptional. Popular festivals include the Shamrock Festival, Chili Cook-off, Strawberry Festival, Peach Festival, and Local Colors.
Universities, two Civic Centers and private organizations in and around Roanoke bring major athletic events to the area, including Coventry Commonwealth Games of Virginia; the NCAA Division III National Football Championship Game, known as the Stagg Bowl; and Roanoke Star Kroger Cup 2010 soccer tournament.
Roanoke offers fine dining with an array of locally owned restaurants, as well as chain establishments. Many of the restaurants offer fresh local ingredients. Several favorites include Metro, 202 Market, Le Bistro, and Wasabi’s. Numerous wine festivals are enjoyed annually, and multiple local vineyards, including Valhalla Vineyards and Chateau Morrisette, offer special events and wine-tasting.
Excellent shopping includes specialty boutiques and national chain stores in several major malls. The Historic Roanoke City Farmers Market is open daily in the center of downtown, and provides access to locally grown produce and flowers, and visiting artisans.
The Roanoke City website proudly lists many awards, including:
- Population Connection honored Roanoke as one of the ten least stressful areas in the US.
- The Department of Education has recognized Roanoke Valley schools among the nation's best.
- A University of Kentucky study ranked Roanoke's quality of life among the top 20 nationally.
- Roanoke was rated as one of the top 10 healthiest places in the US by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
- The historic Roanoke City Farmer's Market was designated as one of 63 of America's Great Public Places by Urban Initiatives, a New York urban design and architectural organization.
- In Money magazine's twelfth annual Best Places to Live survey, Roanoke was chosen the third best small southern city in which to live.
Roanoke is, indeed, a great place to live!