Dell Medical to expand residency program by 2020

Will Clark

The Dell Medical School plans to host 317 medical residents by 2020 who will work at Austin clinics and hospitals to meet the city’s growing medical demands.

This year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved $825,000 in grants to add 11 new residents to the 271 already established positions, up from 209 in 2012. The new positions include six in internal medicine, three in pediatrics and two in psychiatry.

According to Stacy Silverman, deputy assistant commissioner for academic quality at THECB, the Dell Medical School is also receiving a planning grant of $250,000 to plan for a new combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program.

“Right now the state is challenged in keeping pace with the increase in enrollment,” Silverman said. “What this funding is doing is helping establish new residency positions that would be available for our Texas medical graduates to encourage them to stay in the state and then practice in the state.”

This move is part of the University’s goal to make Austin a “model healthy city,” according to the school’s website.

“I have one simple mission,” said Jonathan Macclements, assistant dean for graduate medical education. “To train the next generation of physicians to be the best physicians they can possibly be.”

Though the THECB took its first step this year to help fund the new positions, most of the residency program is funded by the Seton Healthcare Family, a Catholic-owned organization. Most of the residents work at facilities owned by Seton, such as University Medical Center Brackenridge.

The funding from THECB relies on biennial legislative approval, but if funding from THECB is eliminated, both Seton and UT agreed to share the costs of the new programs.

According to Seton spokeswoman Adrianne Lallow, the organization currently spends $44 million per year on academic medical programs, which includes graduate medical residency positions.

“About 80 percent of medical residents who complete medical school and their residency in one state end up staying in that state,” said Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School, in a press release. “We’re having a positive impact on both sides of that equation.”