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Innovative Education

Graduate Training Programs at Houston Methodist

The Houston Methodist Academic Institute now sponsors 61 programs in subspecialty medical training

Houston Methodist has a long tradition of training physicians, physician-scientists and other medical professionals. Since 2005, when it received the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recognition, Houston Methodist has been striving toward providing graduate training programs that best meet today’s medical challenges. Currently, the Houston Methodist Academic Institute sponsors 61 ACGME-accredited and non-ACGME-accredited programs for those wanting to pursue subspecialty training in medicine. In addition, it maintains a highly organized administrative system designed to ensure appropriate resources to support the learners, the programs and the educational environment.
Residency training takes place after medical school and usually lasts for three years; surgical specialties can last up to seven years. According to Phillip Stewart, EdD, director of Graduate Medical Education at Houston Methodist, “It’s common to look at residencies as a sort of apprenticeship, where one is taught the general ‘tools of the trade.’ We seek to offer the trainees a variety of educational pathways and to increase outstanding patient care in all of our facilities.” There is a wide range of training specialties from which to choose, from nursing and pharmacy to administration to occupational therapy to pastoral care. They aren’t just top-down appointments, however; the Houston Methodist Academic Institute addresses the needs of Houston Methodist and the surrounding city. When the nursing shortage was recognized, for example, a training program was created designed to take new baccalaureate-prepared nurse graduates beyond their formal education.
Phillip Stewart, EdD, director of Graduate Medical Education at Houston Methodist
Candidates apply for our residencies through ERAS® – the Electronic Residency Application Service. Through ERAS, applicants will supply applications and supporting documents electronically. Using ERAS, Houston Methodist is able to screen candidates, invite applicants to interview and rank them afterwards, just as they rank us. ERAS’ algorithm then matches candidates to their top appropriate choices, and the results are announced every year in March. The Houston Methodist Academic Institute currently has 127 fellowship positions, in 12 specialties. Its vibrant program has research fellows from around the world, with a diverse background ranging from biomedical engineering to computational sciences. Fellows at Houston Methodist have access to the latest technology and core facilities, such as the machine shop, the cyclotron and the biorepository. The Houston Methodist Academic Institute prides itself in investing in the careers of its trainees and in supporting their educational environment. The Institute works closely with the Texas A&M EnMed program and Weill Cornell Medical College, who have programs onsite at Houston Methodist. Through them as well as other avenues, we have many pathways for learners to find their career in medicine, and many institutions such as the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation & Education (MITIE) to help them excel. MITIE is an innovative virtual hands-on clinical training facility for health-care professionals seeking to maintain excellent procedural skills, safely adopt new technologies and acquire new proficiencies. The Houston Methodist Academic Institute also has programs like the Community Scholars Program, which allows learners in certain primary care programs to support underserved communities with their specialized training.
We ensure that our learners receive optimal training in an environment that allows them to become relevant, productive contributors to the greater society.”
Phillip Stewart, EdD
Director of Graduate Medical Education
The Houston Methodist Academic Institute strives to lead in research and education, with a strong scholastic organization that provides many pathways through which our trainees can determine, hone and perfect their careers. That includes an active alumni association, which offers an opportunity for previous learners to reengage with others, contribute content and register for events. It includes the Methodist Association for Postdoctoral and Trainee Affairs, which serves as a centralized organization for education, networking, intramural activities and career development opportunities. Learners also have access to a wider support system, including wellness programs, fitness centers, behavioral health teams, sleep rooms and an ombudsman program. “Altogether, the residency/fellowship opportunities at Houston Methodist ensure a robust environment in which trainees address clinically relevant challenges that translate into important research projects as well as technological advances in the clinic,” says Stewart. “Perhaps most importantly, we ensure that our learners receive optimal training in an environment that allows them to become relevant, productive contributors to the greater society.”
Luanne Jorewicz, March 2023
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