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Reducing the Shortage of ER Doctors in South Texas Starts Today

First-Ever Emergency Medicine Resident MDs Begin at University Hospital

Ten newly-graduated doctors are making history in San Antonio, as the very first group of civilian doctors in training to become specialized emergency room physicians. The new three-year emergency medicine residency program started with 10 first-year residents on July 1. The ten were selected from a pool of 389 applicants, so they are among the top medical school graduates in the nation. Ten additional doctors will be added each year, for a total of 30 ER physicians in-training at University Hospital by 2015.

Emergency medicine is one of the newer medical specialties, launched in the 1980s, but it has grown into one of the largest. ER doctors are trained to handle everything from heart attacks and broken bones to delivering babies. More specialists are needed because the number of patients coming to emergency rooms nationwide has grown by 32 percent over the past decade.

Teamwork is essential in a busy ER, so the first lesson for these new doctors will be to

“walk a mile” in the shoes of an ER nurse. “It’s important for them to start by understanding everyone’s role in the team,” said Dr. Bruce Adams, University Hospital Emergency Department director. Throughout their training, they will take care of patients under the direct supervision of board-certified emergency medicine physicians.

Residency is a term used for a physician’s post-graduate medical education. They have received their medical degrees but cannot practice independently until they complete this training which involves clinical patient care under the supervision of a physician.

WHO: The first group of emergency medicine resident physicians

WHAT: The first and only civilian Emergency Medicine Residency Program in San Antonio

WHEN: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

(Call 358-2335 to set up interviews and capture B-roll of residents in action)

WHERE: University Hospital, 4502 Medical Drive


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