SHSU and Huntsville Memorial Hospital Launch New Family Medicine Residency

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Feb. 19—Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine has announced the launch of a new Family Medicine Residency program in collaboration with Huntsville Memorial Hospital, the college's first accredited resident physician training program expanding SHSU-COM's graduate medical education offerings.

Since receiving accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, The application process is now open, and the residency program is set to matriculate its first class of four family medicine physicians in July 2023 and will grow to a maximum of 12 residents.

"This Family Medicine Residency will serve as a launch pad for additional SHSU-COM sponsored training programs in the future to meet the needs of the people of Walker County and help fulfill the mission of SHSU-COM," Tucker Leigh, DO, medical director and assistant professor of Family Medicine said.

Residency training takes place after completing medical school in a hospital or clinical setting for three years. Family Medicine physicians provide comprehensive healthcare from birth to end-of-life care. They are primary care physicians who are often patients' first point of contact with a provider. Family Medicine physicians are essential to a patient's well-being, through preventive healthcare, caring for patients as individuals and as part of the whole family. Family Medicine residents will be prepared with the tools, education and support needed to become engaged, effective clinicians and patient advocates.

"The mission of Sam Houston State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine is to train high-quality physicians who will improve access to primary care in rural areas and communities in need throughout East Texas and beyond," said Thomas Mohr, DO, SHSU-COM dean. "Development of residency training programs in these areas is an important component of that mission. We are excited to collaborate with our friends and colleagues at Huntsville Memorial Hospital."

Establishing a residency program in Huntsville benefits the community in many ways. Training the next generation of family medicine physicians is essential to continuity of care and ensuring access to high-quality care. Research indicates that many physicians choose to live in and practice medicine in the communities where they attend their residency programs. The residency program will operate as a partnership between the university and the hospital. The Huntsville Rural Health Clinic will serve as the primary teaching venue for the program. Faculty for the program come from a strong team of primary care providers already practicing medicine in the area as well as clinical faculty from SHSU-COM.

"We are fortunate to have SHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, an outstanding institution of learning, as a community partner," said Patrick Shannon, HMH chief executive officer. "Collaborating and cooperating with such highly regarded and educated individuals is a pleasure and honor. It is extremely exciting to work with a group that shares the common goal of growing talented physicians to benefit future generations."