OHSU trainees find their GME home

 GME welcome mixer 2018

276 residents and fellows mark a new chapter in the journey as physicians

July 24, 2018

It only took one email for Sam Torres Landa Fernandez, M.D. He felt like he belonged at OHSU since his first correspondence with the general surgery residency training program. Choosing where to spend the next three to seven years of your life, sometimes relocating your family across the country, is a serious decision, however. So Dr. Fernandez came for a "second look" visit: he had dinner with OHSU trainees, faculty and staff, shadowed would-be colleagues in the hospital and explored Portland's great outdoors.

That visit sealed the deal, and through the magic of the match, Dr. Fernandez found his GME home.

GME mixer June 2018, Dr. Sam Fernandez"I know [residency] is going to be tough, but the support in this community makes it less stressful," said Dr. Fernandez. Hailing from Mexico, he and his wife Veronica moved to Portland from Philadelphia, where he was doing research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Graduate medical education programs, including in the Department of Surgery and Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, are developing second look days to foster a diverse GME community that reflects the diverse needs of today's patients. These visits help applicants and programs get to know each other in a way that goes beyond the traditional academic application. In surgery, they look at "grit factors" such as military, career or college athletic experience, knowing trainees could translate these skills into being a well-rounded physician.

"It is a terrific honor to welcome these physicians to the OHSU community," said Christopher Swide, M.D. R '91, associate dean for GME, OHSU School of Medicine. "My GME training was the most important time in my career, and I look forward to helping shape the careers of these aspiring physician leaders." 

Kelsey Ige, M.D., was born and raised in Hawaii, and is joining the Department of Pediatrics. What stood out for her was the collaborative environment of patient care and education she witnessed during her visit to OHSU.

"I could see that the residents have room to be autonomous while the attendings and other residents are supporting them," said Dr. Ige. "It's a rare combination in any program, and they nailed it."

GME mixer June 2018, APOM traineesGME training slots in OHSU's more than 80 accredited programs are highly sought-after. In 2018, there were 2,137 applicants for 34 slots in internal medicine, 1,100 applicants for 18 slots in pediatrics, and 1,530 applicants for 13 slots in surgery, for example. Residents and fellows are medical school graduates who complete three to seven years of additional training before they go on to practice independently.

Nationwide, there is a bottleneck on the pipeline of M.D. graduates vying for residency training slots. Medical schools have expanded class sizes to meet population needs, but federal funding for residency training slots has not kept up with this growth. A 2018 study conducted for the Association of American Medical Colleges by IHS Inc., predicts that the United States will face a shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by 2030. There will be shortages in both primary and specialty care, and specialty shortages will be particularly large.

Photos courtesy OHSU/Jordan Sleeth (top to bottom)

Welcoming: Associate Dean Dr. Swide addressed attendees at the annual welcome mixer. Dr. Swide, professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, has been a champion for second look days to foster a diverse GME community.

Mix and mingle: Dr. and Mrs. Fernandez attended the annual welcome mixer in late June, along with current residents and GME leaders and staff.

New cohort: Trainees include (left to right) Victor Adimoraegbu, M.D., Andrew Davoodian, M.D., Jason Campbell, M.D., Terry Biel, M.D., Danielle Desjardins, M.D., and Brian Tully, M.D., all residents in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine.