(COLLEGE STATION) – As one of the original partners in the formation of the College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS) has been a major player in the education of medical students for almost 30 years. Now, the CTVHCS has joined the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH).
Composed of approximately 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems including 64 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, the COTH was established in 1965 to provide representation and services related to the special needs, concerns and opportunities facing these institutions in the United States and Canada. It serves as the principal source of hospital and health system input into overall AAMC policy and direction.
“The hospitals represented in the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems are at the forefront of undergraduate and graduate medical education,” Dr. Kenneth Torrington, CTVHCS Associate Chief of Staff for Education, said. “Our leadership is focused on becoming a more active academic medical center, so our membership in COTH is very timely for us. The VA medical centers in San Antonio and Dallas are members of this group, so we felt that it was important for us to become involved also.”
The Council’s activities focus on issues of special and unique interest to the academic community and membership including Medicare direct and indirect medical education payments, disproportionate share payments, teaching physician regulations, coverage of investigational devices and other focused areas.
The Olin E. Teague Veterans Center in Temple has been a principal teaching campus for the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine since the college’s inception. Third and fourth-year medical students participate in clinical training in the areas of general surgery, orthopedics, internal medicine, urology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, plastic surgery, pulmonary, hematology, oncology, cardiovascular disease, pathology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and family practice.
“e are extremely pleased that our dean’s-affiliated Veterans Affairs Health Care System has been accepted by the AAMC as a COTH member hospital,”Dr. Christopher Colenda, dean of the A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said. “his further defines CTVHCS’ commitment to service, education and research that benefits veterans, students and housestaff.”
The Central Texas Veterans Health Care System is committed to the delivery of quality comprehensive care and health related services to veterans through: applied clinical research, education and preparation of its staff to focus on and meet veterans’ needs; promotion of an environment that encourages staff, volunteer and patient partnership, creativity and satisfaction; and enrichment of the Central Texas area through community service and enhancement of relationships with other healthcare organizations.

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