In a bid to retain high-skilled physicians in North Texas, two Fort Worth medical institutions have joined forces in a new residency program.
Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center Fort Worth and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine on Feb. 5 announced a partnership to form a graduate medical education.
The residency program will begin recruiting the first cohort of medical school graduates this summer. The residencies will begin on July 1, 2021, with a goal of adding more than 150 residency positions per year by the 2027-2028 academic year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Fort Worth in so many ways,” said Mike Sanborn, president of Baylor Scott & White- Fort Worth. “It’s going to help expand the medical community here and the community at large,” he said. “The new [program] will create a new robust academic medical center here in the Medical District.”
Baylor Scott & White revealed it is working on some large-scale construction projects that will house the new residency program’s operations and education programs for the first several years.
Several renovation projects are also underway at Baylor Scott & White’s Fort Worth medical center to create additional spaces for the incoming residency program. The program will spend “several million dollars” on the construction projects, Sanborn said.
There are plans to physically expand the program further in the coming year.
“[The residency program] will be a very nice pipeline,” said Dr. Kollier Hinkle, the residency program’s lead physician. “When we are recruiting our next class, we can talk about the graduate medical education in Fort Worth. Young folks from all around the country love hearing that because they know that’s part of the ecosystem that they’re going to train in and potentially stay in.”
In Texas, 59% of residents stay in-state after training. Whereas, 81% of residents are expected to stay in the state if they complete medical school and as well as their residence in Texas.
Texas is undergoing a severe shortage of physicians, although the state has produced more health professionals in recent years. According to data from the American Association of Medical Colleges, there are 219.4 physicians per 100,000 residents, which ranks Texas at 41 out of the 50 states.
“Together, we will address the important challenges of medical education and insure that into the future our city,” said Dr. Stuart Flynn, the School of Medicine dean. “Our community will have a strong supply of excellent physicians as we strive to inspire doctors, who are emphatic scholars both as doctor students and as residents.”
The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, Fort Worth’s only M.D. school, enrolled its first batch of students last year. Sixty medical students started classes in July.
The medical school students selected for the residency program will have access to modern residency training techniques with deep physician engagement and hands-on interaction.
“We are honored to be working alongside a like-minded organization in Baylor Scott & White – Fort Worth,” Flynn said. “With the combination of both organizations’ available resources and aligned mission, we can create a robust and rich academic environment in the Fort Worth community.”
In the beginning, the new program will offer programs in internal medicine and emergency medicine only. It plans to add OBGYN in the next few years, as well as general surgery by 2023.
The new program makes Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center Fort Worth the health system’s fourth-largest residency program. Baylor Scott & White medical facilities in Dallas, in Temple and in Round Rock also have large programs.
All medical students are required to have hands-on training, or a residency, after medical school before jumping into the professional world.
Baylor Scott & White in Fort Worth currently also hosts students from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and nursing students from TCU, the University of Texas at Arlington, and other area nursing schools.
Baylor Scott & White said it may not be able to hire all the selected residents in the new residency program, but other Fort Worth and North Texas medical facilities can benefit from the influx of trained physicians.
“This will put Fort Worth on the map,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “Having the chance to have our residency here is just truly very exciting. I’ve continued to be pleased with the collaboration and partnership.”