Jun 19 2014

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GSMC keeps raising bar


GSMC Doctors receive their white coats during the White Coat Reception at Good Shepherd. In no particular order: Hira Bakhtiar, MD, Benjamin Cameron, DO, Christopher Cooper, MD, Jose Gonzalez, MD, Bradley Hibbert, MD, Malasha Khan, MD, Mohamad Makkouk, MD, Srijna Nandivada, MD, Thuy-Phuong Nguyen, MD, Gilbert Ojong, MD, Okwuchukwu Okoli, MD, Neil Patel, MD, Solomon Sallfors, DO, Mehul Shah, DO, Varalaxmi Sreeram, MD, Jonathan Stout, MD, Elena Sutherland, MD, Yashashree Vegi, MD, and Emmanuel Elueze, MD, PhD, FACP – photo by Joycelyne Fadojutimi


Internal medicine is taking its turn to be proffered as a vital service offered by Longview’s Good Shepherd Medical Center (GSMC.) The hospital recently hosted a Welcome Breakfast and White Coat Reception for its Internal Medicine Residents class of 2017. The event included class recognition by the hospital’s officials, the attendance of an official from the University of Texas Health Northeast, and the class members’ individual introductions. There was also a formal Presentation of White Coats, presentation of the 2013-2014 Avicenna Award, and the 2013-2014 Intern of the Year presentation.

GSMC residency program director Dr. Emmanuel Elueze described this as the first year since its 2012 inception that the hospital’s residency program has been comprised of its full complement of three classes.

“We had almost 3000 applicants this year, and we’re seeing more competition each year. We interviewed excellent candidates from Texas medical schools, other U.S. medical schools, and international medical graduates,” he said. “We successfully matched 13 U.S. medical graduates, 11 from Texas medical schools.”

He grilled the applicants on the vital areas of national and Good Shepherd expectations, superior patient satisfaction, patient-centered care, while the topic of patient focus dominated the whole presentation.

Elueze emphasized everything it takes to be a superior physician. Above all a doctor must place the patient first. Teamwork is also crucial.

In 1910 one of the founders of the famed Mayo Clinic, Dr. William Mayo, delivered Chicago’s Rush Medical College’s commencement address. His main theme was that doctors must work together.

“As we grow in learning we more justly appreciate our dependence upon each other. The very necessities of the case are driving practitioners into cooperation. The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered, and in order that the sick may have the benefit of advancing knowledge, a union of forces is necessary,” said Dr. Mayo.

Elueze also declared that when their patients have appointments the doctors have an obligation to not keep them waiting, to listen carefully to their patients, to communicate clearly and to respond with positive results. They should also:

* Maintain a professional appearance and attitude.

* Wash their hands in front of their patients. Sit down and respect patients’ wishes.

* Master their game–know their stuff.

* Be available.

* Provide documentation and feedback.

* Be positive, open-minded and thus receptive to change.

* Take ownership of patients’ problems.

Furthermore, Elueze advised medical students to ask themselves three questions at the end of each day:

* What did I learn, or what opportunities did I utilize?

* What do I need to read about, or what opportunities did I not utilize?

* What will I do differently tomorrow?

He asked his student listeners to look upon GSMC as their vehicle to becoming the absolute best doctors they are capable of being, that they must be scrupulously professional at all times, budget their time wisely, be consistent, avail themselves (as either teachers or students) of all teaching and learning sessions, and to share their learned knowledge with other medical providers. Rather than leaving the area to grab recreational opportunities, physicians should use spare time to reflect on and critique their own performance. He hearkened back to the brilliant Greek philosopher Socrates’ statement, “A life unexamined is not worth living.”

He pointed out that doctors must be open to accepting learning opportunities from nurses, whose knowledge is extensive, vital and ripe for sharing. He also stressed the importance of being open to change. For his patients’ sakes no doctor can afford to become set in his ways and hence resistant to positive changes in techniques and technology.

Elueze closed by urging his students to look upon their white coats as a reminder to give their patients both attention and intention with humility. He closed by asking the audience to welcome the new interns as members of the city.

During the event the annual Teacher of the Year award was handed out to GSMC’s Dr. Prashanth Preddi. Also called the Avicenna Award this recognition is named after Avicenna (980-1037,) the great Persian physician, philosopher, mathematician, mineralogist, geologist, poet and author of 450 books on various fields of science. His reputation makes this award very coveted, and  Dr. Preddi was delighted at receiving it.

“Thanks to all my students for selecting me for this prestigious award,” he said. “I feel very happy, and I would like to keep up this recognition and strive fully to provide the best learning experience for my students.”

Dr. Ruth Jackson took home the Intern of the Year award.

This year’s class is representative of US medical school graduates, US international medical graduates and international medical graduates, as listed specifically below:

  • Hira Bakhtiar, MD Shifa College of Medicine
  • Benjamin Cameron, DO UNT Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Christopher Cooper, MD University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  • Jose Gonzalez, MD   The University of Texas Medical School at Houston;
  • Bradley Hibbert, MD  UTMB at Galveston
  • Malasha Khan, MD  Rawalpindi Medical College
  • Mohamad Makkouk, MD UTMB at Galveston
  • Srijna Nandivada, MD Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Thuy-Phuong Nguyen, MD Texas A&M College of Medicine
  • Gilbert Ojong, MD   University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Okwuchukwu Okoli, MD  University of Ibadan
  • Neil Patel, MD  UTMB at Galveston
  • Solomon Sallfors, DO  UNT Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Mehul Shah, DO   UNT Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine,
  • Varalaxmi Sreeram, MD  Kakatiya Medical College
  • Jonathan Stout, MD   UT Medical School at Houston
  • Elena Sutherland, MD UT Medical School at Houston
  • Yashashree Vegi, MD  Government Medical College Nagpur

The new interns commenced their orientation program on June 16. Monday, June 30 will be the first day of rotations. A new class of third-year medical students will start in July. GSMC will host 12 students who will live in the city while completing their third-year clerkships, which include internal medicine, family medicine, surgery, psychiatry, osteopathic manipulative medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics.

The intern program will start taking applications for the 2015-2016 academic year in September. Interviews for the next class of GSMC residents will be scheduled for November to January. The program match for the next academic year takes place each March., and the academic year runs from July to June.

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