GME programs aim to increase residency opportunities for physicians

Austin, Texas – In an effort to increase the limited number of residency options in Texas and retain more graduates in the community, St. David’s HealthCare recently became an Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Sponsoring Institution of several new graduate medical education (GME) programs. In addition to increasing post-graduate residency opportunities for students, the programs are designed to train physicians to support the healthcare needs of the Central Texas community.

“In Texas, our medical schools produce a significant number of outstanding graduates, yet the limited number of post-graduate residency slots means that many students leave the state to train and establish their practices elsewhere,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “As a result, Texas loses physicians at a time when there is a significant need for well-trained doctors.”

St. David’s HealthCare’s GME programs began in July with five residents in its initial specialty residency program—General Surgery. The General Surgery residency program is based at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, with rotations at other hospitals within the healthcare system. Additionally, an Obstetrics/Gynecology (OB/GYN) program will be added within a year. The General Surgery program will grow to include 25 residents within the next five years, and the OB/GYN program will grow to include 20 residents.

Jason Brocker, M.D., a former U.S. Armed Forces trauma surgeon who also has experience in two of the busiest trauma facilities in the country, will serve as the program director for the General Surgery residency program. Dr. Brocker will oversee the five residents who were initially matched with the program:

  • Semo Asemota, M.D., St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Grand Cayman Island
  • Kayla Brown, D.O., Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Florida
  • John Jackson, M.D., McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas
  • Sophia Jimenez, M.D., John Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Hawaii
  • Sara Khan, M.D., Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, California

“St. David’s HealthCare is one of the largest healthcare systems in the state, and our hospitals have been recognized as leaders in healthcare quality, clinical excellence and patient experience,” Huffstutler said. “We have a depth of expertise and a vast reach which has previously not been accessible to medical students, and we are pleased to welcome our inaugural class.”

St. David’s HealthCare’s national partner, HCA Healthcare, has been dedicated to developing GME programs for the past five years as part of its commitment to address the national physician shortage. St. David’s HealthCare residents will be part of HCA Healthcare’s national GME program, which currently has more than 4,500 residents and fellows across nearly 300 programs in 66 teaching hospitals.

Photo caption: Aileen Ebadat, MD, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center Trauma Medical Director and GME Associate Program Director; Kayla Brown, DO; Osamuyi “Semo” Asemota, MD; Sara Kahn, MD; Jason Brocker, MD, GME Program Director; John Jackson, MD; Sophia Jimenez, MD; Vincent Choudhry, MD F.A.C.S.