School of Medicine Covenant Branch Inaugural Class
Located a short distance from TTUHSC campus, The TTUHSC School of Medicine Covenant Branch officially will open July 2016 with third-year clerkships. The branch will offer a wide variety of subspecialty experiences for medical students.
Founded in 1969, the TTUHSC School of Medicine has continually worked to address the shortage of physicians in West Texas by providing innovative educational opportunities to medical students and residents. Currently there are campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo and the Permian Basin.
“This branch was a great opportunity to expand our educational program into Covenant Health,” said Steven L. Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president, provost and School of Medicine dean. “Teaching hospitals help train the next generation of doctors with skills that they will use throughout their careers. With the help of our alumni and community physicians, we now provide our students these opportunities at two hospitals.”
Steven L. Berk, M.D.
The first class of 30 students will begin their orientation on July 1. Robert Salem, M.D., founding regional vice dean for Covenant Branch Medical Education Programs, said Covenant Health has been involved with the education of medical students and residents since the school enrolled its first class in 1972.
“Covenant’s now-expanded role provides the students with a unique learning opportunity under the direct supervision of members of our medical staff in treating private practice patients,” Salem said. “The diversity of their experience in this setting will greatly enhance their overall educational knowledge base. We look forward with great enthusiasm to this joint venture opportunity with TTTUHSC.”
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), every year more than 16,000 students earn a medical degree from an AAMC-member medical school. The work of teaching hospitals is more important than ever, as the U.S. faces a growing shortage of physicians. The AAMC states that by 2025, the U.S. will face a shortage of between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians in all specialties.
“We are partnering with Covenant Health to address the shortage of physicians in West Texas,” said Robert Casanova, M.D., TTUHSC School of Medicine assistant vice dean of medical education. “By working together, our hope is that many of these students will stay and continue to work in the West Texas area.”