In collaboration with Texas A&M Health Science Center, the DeTar Healthcare System Family Medicine Residency in Victoria has received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), effective July 1, 2015. The three-year program – which addresses a critical need for more primary care physicians in South Texas – will accept its first six residents in July 2016.

Family Medicine Residency at DeTar creates more physicians for South Texas

Texas A&M College of Medicine and DeTar Hospital in Victoria have received accreditation for a Family Medicine Residency Program that will train more primary care physicians for South Texas.

“As a land-grant university, Texas A&M has always embodied a service-oriented mentality,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “The DeTar collaboration, and this latest accreditation milestone, brings us one step closer to serving more patients in this community and improving the health of South Texans for years to come.”

Cliff Thomas of Victoria, who serves as Vice Chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, also expressed his appreciation for the residency program. “This program will make a big difference in the quality of health care, and in the quality of life, for the citizens of our region,” Regent Thomas said.

As part of the Region 5 Texas 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver, DeTar requested to establish a Family Medicine Residency Program in South Texas to serve this population, cited as Medicaid underserved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A 304-bed two-hospital system, DeTar provides care for Victoria and its surrounding counties, a 5,200 square mile area with a population of 164,467.

“The DeTar Healthcare System has recruited physicians to this community for more than 80 years as part of our commitment to provide quality medical care to the Crossroads area,” said William R. Blanchard, chief executive officer for the DeTar Healthcare System. “The family medicine residency program allows us to continue this tradition for many years to come.”

The three-year curriculum will train residents to provide comprehensive primary care within a patient-centered medical home environment and encourages graduates to continue practicing in the underserved area. The program will enroll an additional six residents per year, for a total program size of 18 family medicine residents training at DeTar in 2018.

“We have designed our program to meet the unique needs of South Texas, with full spectrum family medicine with obstetrics; tropical and international medicine; cutting edge lifestyle intervention to prevent and reverse diabetes and heart disease; and rural telemedicine experiences,” said Sidney Ontai, M.D., DeTar Family Medicine Residency program director and assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “Studies show that the majority of matriculating residents locate within 60 miles of their residency programs, so our curriculum should equip our graduates to serve South Texans well.”

The program received a $150,000 planning grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, part of the $16 million appropriated to graduate medical education by the 83rd Texas Legislature. Partnerships such as this increase access to physicians in underserved areas and are a critical component to growing the health care workforce across the state.

“The Family Medicine Residency Program in Victoria will play a key role in the development of a comprehensive physician workforce solution for the entire state,” said Paul Ogden, M.D., interim dean of the Texas A&M College of Medicine. “Texas A&M is piecing together the puzzle, working with partners like DeTar to develop new programs to alleviate the current primary care shortage, and thus ensuring that all Texans are getting the best care possible.”


— Holly Shive

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