Today@Sam Article

Partnership Expands Student-Doctor Training In Beaumont

July 29, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Dr. Stephen McKernan, Dr. Waqar Ahmad, Dr. Peggy Taylor, Dr. Shannon Ramsey JimenezChristus Southeast Texas Health System is taking an exciting step toward bringing the next generation of physicians to the Beaumont, Texas region by partnering with Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM) to educate medical students in the classroom and in the field.

Christus St. Elizabeth is one of three sites where SHSU-COM third-year medical students will do their clinical rotations starting in 2022. The collaboration will allow dedicated physicians to teach some of the youngest and most diverse doctors in the state. The initiative also aims to recruit more physicians to the area, where a number of healthcare professionals are reaching retirement age.

“SHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is fortunate to have a partnership with Christus Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth to recruit from and help produce physicians for Beaumont and the surrounding region,” said Stephen L. McKernan, DO, associate dean for clinical affairs with SHSU. “We have experienced a very welcoming community in southeast Texas.”

Christus Southeast Texas is already taking significant steps to ensure the success of this new partnership. So far, approximately 50 of their physicians have committed to being preceptors, offering their time to help train and supervise the students who will work in their hospitals.

“As a progressive health care leader in this region, it is vital that we look to the future while taking care of our patients in the present,” said Waqar Ahmad, MD, vice president, medical affairs, Christus Southeast Texas Health System. “These students represent some of the brightest medical minds, and we are grateful that the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Sam Houston State University is our partner in this exciting venture.”

This week, physicians and staff at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont attended an event hosted by SHSU-COM to learn more on the partnership and helping to teach incoming students at the hospital. The move is a big step in SHSU-COM’s goal in creating more regional opportunities for students and health systems.

After a competitive process with more than 2,100 applicants, SHSU-COM welcomed its inaugural class of 75 student doctors in August 2020. The program focuses on enrolling students who are reflective of the communities they serve, particularly those that are rural and underserved.


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