“Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is excited about the future of graduate medical education in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Carlos Cardenas, M.D., DHR Chairman. “Never before has our community seen such a shift in education and opportunity at this rapid of a pace. The residency programs at DHR and the RAHC will be utterly transformational for our area.”
The School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, along with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance recently announced their affiliation agreement for graduate medical education, as well as the hiring of four residency program directors.
DHR will serve as the new location for residency programs in internal medicine, family medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.
These programs join a new general adult psychiatry program and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program announced in November 2013 at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen. The RAHC’s existing residency program, established in 2002, is an internal medicine residency program that utilizes Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, and other clinical sites.
The McAllen Medical Center family medicine program, established in 1977, rounds out a rapidly growing group of residency programs in the Valley.
The residencies will operate the sponsorship of the San Antonio medical school until the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine attains accreditation.
DHR is the first to announce four new residency program directors. They include Amer Malas M.D., internal medicine; Charles Richart, M.D., general surgery; Eron Manusov, M.D., family medicine; and John Breen, M.D., OB/GYN.
“As founding program directors, these physicians are setting the course to not only establish programs of excellence in their respective residencies but also through those efforts to be involved in transforming the health status of the Rio Grande Valley,” said Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in a statement.
More than 80 percent of physicians who graduate from a Texas medical school and complete their residency in the state will practice in the community where they do their residency.
Clinical activities of the programs will be carried out at DHR. The programs are projected to include at least 78 new training positions for resident physicians. These are part of the planned expansion of graduate medical education throughout the Valley — from 33 residency positions to 148.
“We are trying to get all the residency programs in each hospital to work together, and to share what they learned from each hospital and their experiences in order to become a solid group so they can provide better care for residents in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Dr. Yolanda Gomez, who has recently arrived in the Valley to take on the role of Associate Dean for General Medical Education (GME).
[Dr. Yolanda Gomez] will be coordinating all the residency programs in the Valley as they begin.
“We know that the community needs residents, and as we work together as a family, putting aside that we are from different hospitals, we will have residency programs that will promote the health and better living for all the people who live here,” Gomez said. “That’s the experience we want to create here. It’s the sharing. We are going to create a committee. We have already met with all the program directors at a meet and greet and start working to find resources that can be shared.”
“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel.We just have to work together to let the community know we are here and that our mission is working for the community and providing good health care to everyone,” Gomez said.
With 78 residents starting in 2015, the number of physician providers will increase exponentially year after year. It is projected that in 10 years, through the onset of graduate medical education, more than 375 new physicians will be providing care in the Rio Grande Valley.
For an area that has been historically medically underserved, the influx of nearly 400 physicians will have a significant impact on the future health of our residents.
“Collectively, I think we all believe a medical school is valuable,” said McAllen Heart Hospital CEO Jason Chang. “Hopefully, local students will go to medical school, and get their residency.
“If they want to specialize, it looks like they’re still going to have to go away to get their fellowships. So if you want to be a surgeon, you can get your general surgery residency (here), but if you want to be an orthopedic surgeon you would have to go somewhere else to get your fellowship,” Chang said. “Then you come back because hopefully you’re from here. That’s how we want to build the population of physicians to build our community.”