University Hospital begins ER medicine residency

City’s first non-military residency program to begin

SAN ANTONIO - In a move that is expected to address the region’s growing shortage of emergency room doctors and staff, University Hospital on Thursday announced that it has received accreditation to begin an Emergency Medicine Residency program.

Ten doctors will be accepted in July, then complete the three-year residency requirements at University’s Emergency Center.

Currently, the Southwestern region of Texas is ranked at or near the bottom in staffing emergency personnel needs, but the need for doctors is even more severe.

“Everyone knows there’s a physician’s shortage, particularly in emergency medicine,” said Dr. Christopher McNeil, an ER doctor at University.

He says studies rank our region second worst, with 5.5 physicians for every 100,000 people.

It’s worse in rural areas of Texas, where the numbers decline down to 2.5 for every 100,000 people.

Today, more than half the current emergency room doctors at University are former military, the result of residency programs at military medical centers.

The new accredited program at University will be the first for civilians. The hope is that instead of deployment after completing residency, these new doctors will stay in South Texas.

“This will bring improved quality of care overnight,” said Dr. Bruce Adams, the director of University’s Emergency Center. “It attracts better doctors, better nurses and staff, and we’ll do a better job of taking care of our patients here at University Hospital and through the region."

The program begins in July and in three years will have 30 residents employed.


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