Baylor College of Medicine has announced that it has received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to begin to offer a pediatric residency program at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. The decision comes after a successful year of BCM serving as the academic partner for the Hospital and contributing more than 100 pediatricians and pediatric specialists to the Alamo City as part of their efforts.
According to the ACGME, which maintains a set timeline for the medical residency program application process, fourth-year medical students who are part of the program will be permitted to begin applying to serve as pediatric residents at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in July of 2014. This year, the program will accept ten residents for the program. They will begin rotations in July of 2015.
Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Pediatrician-in-Chief Dr. Mark Gilger commented on the new accreditation, saying: “This is an exciting time for San Antonio, it means we will gain more pediatricians and pediatric specialists, as most residents typically continue their practice within 100 miles from their training institution. And the fact that we received approval so quickly is paramount. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is taking the lead in a new education-driven model.”
As a result of the new accreditation, BCM will now serve as the sponsoring institution for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio’s pediatric residency program, according to a BCM press release. This approach, dubbed the “learners model,” is “a unique model that allows the Hospital to tailor programs specifically to the needs of the patients and of the residents,” according to BCM.
Baylor/San Antonio Pediatric Residency Program Director Dr. Michelle Barajaz believes that “the ‘learners’ model is the future of medical education,” and explained that, as part of their commitment to the new program, “Baylor physicians will be on-hand 24/7 for training our residents; the curriculum is designed to support each individual doctor’s career path.”
An underlying effort throughout the state of Texas remains focused on continuing to increase and accelerate education for future doctors, nurses, and researchers, since typically medical and life sciences professionals remain within the state that they are educated in. BCM’s efforts to partner with Children’s Hospital of San Antonio demonstrates BCM’s commitment to furthering this long-term, state-wide project, as Pat Carrier, president and CEO of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System noted: “This is yet another example of the level of expertise and commitment that our partner, Baylor College of Medicine, brings to the community,” he said. “In addition to working with Baylor physicians, the residents will train with many of our private pediatric specialists, providing them the unique skill sets to provide the highest level of care for the children of South-Central Texas and beyond.”
According to ACGME guidelines, participants in the new residency program at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio’s will participate in a three-year program schedule that will include 39 blocks of training, as well as unique training opportunities that will be specifically tailored to the needs and facilities that support the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and Baylor commitment of serving the underserved. There will also be an opportunity for residents to take advantage of a global/underserved block in their third year, which will allow them “to serve the underserved in San Antonio or to train in a global site such as one of the seven Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative Centers of Excellence in Africa.”
“Medical students are increasing, but residency programs are not. The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio residency program is able to make more room and train confident and competent pediatricians for the state, the nation, and world,” said Dr. Gordon Schutze, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair of Education for the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “But, foremost, the residency program puts another notch in the belt of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, in putting the health and well-being of the children of San Antonio first.”