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New academic affiliation established with CHRISTUS Health in Northeast Texas

The CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Internal Medicine residency program in Longview is now an affiliate of Texas A&M College of Medicine
October 6, 2021

Texas A&M and CHRISTUS Health today announced a new collaboration to help ensure that Northeast Texas will have access to world-class health care for generations to come. Texas A&M University College of Medicine will serve as the academic affiliate for the CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Internal Medicine Residency program in Longview.

“Recruiting new doctors and training the best in the country is a privilege. Today’s announcement is historic for our community,” said Chris Glenney, FACHE, senior vice president of Group Operations at CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas. “We are proud to join together with one of the best academic institutions in health care because this community deserves the best. This partnership allows us to continue our journey to attract and develop the most highly-qualified, talented clinicians to come to Northeast Texas and will only build upon our excellent medical community.”

In addition to the agreement with Texas A&M, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has also approved transitioning the CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Internal Medicine Residency sponsorship from the University of Texas at Tyler to CHRISTUS Health.

“This collaboration is the next step in a new beginning for the CHRISTUS program,” said John C. McDonald, DO, FACOI, chair of the Academic Institute at CHRISTUS Health. “By controlling our own destiny as sponsor and partnering with Texas A&M, I believe we can improve all of our Undergraduate Medical Education and Graduate Medical Education programs. We will be able to grow and develop even more outstanding physicians, and will continue to play an integral role in strengthening the medical community of Texas—and beyond.”

“Training future physicians is one of our highest honors,” said Todd Hancock, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System president and chief executive officer. “The new affiliation with Texas A&M College of Medicine will only strengthen this legacy program and ensure we continue to attract the most talented residents from around the country.”

“Physicians from some of the most prestigious medical schools and programs around the globe come to Longview to train as part of this program,” said Jennifer Reemtsma, MEd, director of Academics at CHRISTUS Health. “These changes and partnerships allow the program to operate more effectively. Patients will still get the same high level of care. This program is already excellent, and we look forward to its future growth.”

“The best should be able to train the best,” said Mike Finley, MD, system medical director at designated institutional official (DIO) at CHRISTUS Health, who believes that all 36 internal medicine residents in the current program and others to join in the future will benefit from the change. “These young physicians come to work every day with a passion and a belief that the patients should come first. We are excited about the future of the program and the many dynamic training opportunities to come.”

Finley added, “Enhancing CHRISTUS’ affiliation with the highly regarded internal medicine residency program at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd to full institutional sponsorship adds this outstanding program to our already existing Texas residency programs in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Partnering with Texas A&M for academic support gives us many resources for residents and students, faculty development, medical research and program growth. It will enhance the partnership we have with Texas A&M and our other residency programs. We are excited to provide these opportunities for this program as it continues to provide education for residents and medical students in Longview and the CHRISTUS East Texas Region.”

Residency is the training physicians receive after graduating from medical school before they can practice independently. Known for having supportive faculty, staff and fellow residents, Sam Bagchi, MD, CHRISTUS Health’s chief clinical officer, says the partnership with Texas A&M University Health Science Center (Texas A&M Health) will only make the program more comprehensive and can elevate care delivery.

“The alliance of CHRISTUS Health and Texas A&M ensures that the families in Longview, Marshall and all of Northeast Texas will have access to a new level of expertise,” Bagchi said. ““Internal medicine residencies are three years long and require immense dedication. We are proud of our programs and what they have come to offer.”

After completion, many residents choose to practice as primary care providers or as hospitalists. Others go on to do additional training in various sub-specialties including cardiology, pulmonary-critical care, infectious disease, endocrinology, geriatrics, GI/hepatology, and hematology/oncology/leukemia.

“We are excited to have CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Internal Medicine Residency program as our newest affiliate,” said Amy L. Waer, MD, FACS, dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “We have a shared mission of training caring, competent and compassionate physicians to serve the people of Texas and beyond.”

— Sloane Williams

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