New residency program coming to the Valley

New residency program coming to the Valley
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:46pm

More than 500 U.S. med school graduates did not get matched to a residency program last year. 

There are only 33 residency spots in the Valley, but a new graduate medical education program will likely increase that number to about 150.

Doctor's Hospital at Renaissance and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio are teaming up to bring a new residency program to South Texas.

"It is a collaboration that I think is going to be very important for the future of health care in the Valley as well as for the development of the medical school," said Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, dean of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.  "We're very pleased that DHR has stepped up to the plate to do this for the community and for the future of this region."

The partnership includes the hiring of four residency program directors.  DHR will become the new location for residency programs in internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, and OB/GYN.

"What DHR is doing in starting these four fundamental residencies, not only does it the foundation that you need for a medical school, but it also gives you the future retention for the physicians who need to serve the community," explained Dr. Charles Richart, general surgery program director.

Retention is especially crucial in the Valley where the ratio of primary crucial in the Valley where the ratio of primary care physicians per population is significantly lower than the state ratio. 

However, more than 60 percent of Texas physicians end up practicing in the community where they complete their residency, which means the potential for more physicians in the Valley.

"As a community with huge primary care and health care shortages, we need the physicians who will be matriculating through our campus, so I think all of south Texas wins," said Israel Rocha, CEO of DHR.

These residencies will be sponsored by the UT Health Science Center's School of Medicine at San Antonio until the UT RGV School of Medicine gets accredited.

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