TAMC program shapes next generation of medical leaders

| March 3, 2017 | 0 Comments
Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information Students perform a Lumbar Puncture on a simulated infant during training at Tripler ArmyMedical Center. A lumbar puncture is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information
Students perform a Lumbar Puncture on a simulated infant during training at Tripler ArmyMedical Center. A lumbar puncture is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

By William Sallette
Tripler Army Medical Center
Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Tripler Army Medical Center has been training military medical professionals for more than 65 years through its Graduate Health Education (GHE) program.

For decades, Army medicine has worked to train the military health care team of the future through its GHE program and TAMC has been a significant part of the Army’s medical training mission.

Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information Lt. Col. Kara Delaney, Chief of the Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs Pediatric Specialty clinic,discusses the proper techniques for placing an Intraosseous Catheter in a simulated bone. Thisprocedure is utilized when vascular access is not possible or cannot be performed in adequate time due to severity of wounds or size of patient.

Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information
Lt. Col. Kara Delaney, Chief of the Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs Pediatric Specialty clinic,discusses the proper techniques for placing an Intraosseous Catheter in a simulated bone. Thisprocedure is utilized when vascular access is not possible or cannot be performed in adequate time due to severity of wounds or size of patient.

TAMC, in coordination with its program directors, provides an organized educational program with guidance and supervision of its residents, facilitating their professional and personal development while ensuring safe and appropriate patient care.

TAMC began the GHE program in February 1949, when the Internal Medicine Residency program received its initial accreditation. The goal of the GHE program is to educate and train physicians in various medical and surgical disciplines so that, upon completion of the training program, they are able to pass their board certification exam, demonstrate sufficient competence to enter practice without direct supervision, are competent practitioners and are able to practice their specialty in the U.S. and abroad.

TAMC is a major teaching hospital that currently sponsors 240 resident positions in 14 accredited physician training programs, including radiology, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery. It also has 11 non-physician graduate programs.

“Our beneficiaries deserve nothing but the best,” said Col. Kent DeZee, chief of the TAMC Directorate of Health Education and Training. “By closely supervising our residents, we ensure great patient care for our current patients and excellent preparation for our residents’ future patients. We design the training to meet not only civilian accreditation rules, such as (the) Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Council and American Board of Medical Specialties, but also the specialized needs of military physicians.”

Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information Vivian Edwards, Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs, Chief of Resuscitative Training Services, discussesthe proper techniques used to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation on an infant.

Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information
Vivian Edwards, Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs, Chief of Resuscitative Training Services, discussesthe proper techniques used to perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation on an infant.

Annual selection of potential candidates by the GHE Selection Board is competitive and are based on previous schooling, letters of recommendation, Officer Evaluation Reports, titles of completed research and presentations, and board examination scores, as well as a formal interview with one of the program directors. All of this information will be compiled to determine where on the Order of Merit List the candidate will fall.

TAMC is affiliated with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) as a teaching hospital and a majority of the candidates have received a health professions scholarship for their training.

“Tripler has enjoyed a robust program of faculty development opportunities in collaboration with the USUHS,” DeZee said. “The collaboration provides the trainees medical education platforms, including strong clerkship opportunities, coupled with the highest quality of education, ensuring that our beneficiaries receive highly reliable care at Tripler and throughout Army Medicine facilities.”

The GHE program constantly develops and strengthens the curriculum to prepare graduates for the evolving needs of patients and the health care system. The GHE programs also encourage research and innovation to advance patient care with state-of-the-art technology.

Photo by Soraya Robello, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information Maj. Elizabeth Hultgren, a staff nurse assigned to the Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs ProgressiveCare Unit, observes a student inserting a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter into a simulated patient.

Photo by Soraya Robello, Tripler Army Medical Center Visual Information
Maj. Elizabeth Hultgren, a staff nurse assigned to the Tripler Army Medical CenterÕs ProgressiveCare Unit, observes a student inserting a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter into a simulated patient.

“The medical field is constantly evolving,” said DeZee “We have to adjust our curriculum to ensure that we are teaching the most up-to-date methods of care for our patients.”

Depending on the specialty of the training, a resident in the GHE program can spend one to six years in the program.

“The TAMC GHE program did a tremendous job of preparing me for both inpatient and outpatient medicine as a doctor of internal medicine and as an Army provider,” said Maj. Eric Swanson, chief of the Internal Medicine Clinic. “We did many rotations during my three-year training at TAMC that included outpatient encounters, subspecialty rotations (Oncology, Gastrointestinal tract, etc.), and many inpatient rotations for general medicine and critical care patients.”

Each year the program graduates approximately 140 residents. This equates to producing more than 15 percent of the Army’s licensed physicians each year. Many of these residents will move on to operational assignments throughout the world where they will use the skills they have learned. These physicians are trained on the most up-to-date methods and with state-of-the-art equipment.

“I have done multiple global health engagements throughout my residency program and it has prepared me for just about anything I may encounter,” said Anthony Tolisano, chief resident of the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic. “Many times on these engagements, we may not have all of the best tools or facilities to operate in and that is what it can be like when we deploy, so I feel that once I leave here, I will be ready to perform my best under whatever circumstance I may find myself in.”

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Category: Health

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