Transmountain Campus | Photo courtesy Hospitals of Providence
This fall, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso will begin recruiting for two new residency programs at The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus, as part of a partnership that will help expand the Foster School of Medicine’s training capacity, as well as improve access to health care in the region.
Recruiting will begin for internal medicine and psychiatry residency programs this year. Family medicine and OB-GYN programs will be added in 2021.
All programs at TTUHSC El Paso and The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus will provide residents unique clinical training experiences and opportunities for research and scholarly activities.
Paul E. Ogden, M.D., provost for TTUHSC El Paso, said the new residencies are critical for expanding the Foster School of Medicine’s capacity to train specialist physicians.
“One of the mandates we have from the state is to train more health care workers for the region, so we need more medical students, more residents and more nursing students. The limitation we had on expanding was the capacity of our teaching hospital, University Medical Center of El Paso,” Dr. Ogden said.
“Working with UMC and El Paso Children’s Hospital has been great, but there is not much room to expand due to the way state funding works for existing hospital resident programs, so we started a partnership with The Hospitals of Providence to allow us to expand the medical school. Fortunately, The Hospitals of Providence built an exceptional teaching hospital allowing us to expand our partnership and to serve the future growth of the region.”
In time, The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (the clinical arm of the Foster School of Medicine) will offer up to 100 new resident positions at the West El Paso site.
School officials say that the expansion of the Foster School of Medicine will also lead to improved health care in El Paso and the surrounding region as residents become practicing physicians in the area.
“Because medical residents often remain in the region in which they trained, those training in El Paso make a lasting impact by easing the local physician shortage and improving the lives of many in the Borderland,” FSOM officials shared. “From 2015 to 2019, more than 100 FSOM residents have gone on to practice medicine in the El Paso area, with 28 coming from the 2019 class.”
When the FSOM opened in 2009, there was a 75% shortage of physicians in El Paso compared to the national average. Since then, the shortage has been reduced to 50%. That was aided by a record number of graduates— 18 — matching to El Paso residency programs in 2019. The new residency programs will continue the progress, including in psychiatry where in 2019 there were only 40 psychiatrists in El Paso, or one for every 21,726 residents.
“Our biggest mission is to take care of the health care needs of people along the border and in the El Paso region,” Dr. Ogden said. “To do that, we have to educate more doctors, nurses and dentists and get them out into practice. Residents generally go back to their hometown area or end up within 70 to 80 miles of where they did their residency. Having more opportunities to train here in El Paso in specialties where we have a shortage of physicians and where they will help address the disparities in access to care, such as psychiatry.”
“We look forward to welcoming our new residents and providing them a positive experience with hands-on training,” said Tasha Hopper, chief executive officer for The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus. “The Transmountain Campus is committed to training the next generation of healthcare providers.”
After five years of preparation and planning for the new residency programs, Dr. Ogden said he’s excited to see the “fruits of our labor.” He looks forward to recruiting quality medical school graduates as the Foster School of Medicine grows its reputation as a top destination for residency programs in a unique binational, bicultural setting.
“You want to be as competitive as possible and get the best residents you can, who have a passion for serving our community,” Dr. Ogden said. “I think we have great faculty and teachers, and I think we’ll be attractive to our own students, other students in West Texas and those that know how great El Paso is.”
TTUHSC El Paso offers 10 residency programs with openings for more than 200 talented medical residents from the Borderland and across the nation. Residency programs currently offered include: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB-GYN, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology, Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery.
School officials add that all residency programs at TTUHSC El Paso meet the accreditation standards of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties.