Our newly-accredited Rural Psychiatry Residency Program is rural training at its finest, with the perfect blend of educational opportunities positioned amid a number of medically-underserved counties in the Northeast Texas region. The large percentage of medically-underserved counties in Northeast Texas lack – yet need – better access to healthcare in general, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) continues to provide solutions through its residency programs.
In 2016, the Rural Family Medicine Program, after which the Rural Psychiatry Program is modeled, began to reach outside the boundaries of Smith County. Recent and future growth of the UT Health System in Tyler, including the upcoming construction of the UT System’s newest medical school, estimates an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion in addition to 18,000+ new jobs. With the abundant need of psychiatrists in an area of Texas that is beautiful, serene, bountiful in many areas, including the education of physicians, what better time to be a part of graduate medical education in East Texas!
The curriculum of the Rural Psychiatry Residency Program is designed for its first-year residents to be woven into the urban program. This lays the groundwork for camaraderie with fellow residents and knowledge of the network of hospitals and clinics in the UT Health East Texas System. However, in their second year of training, the rural residents begin to focus on providing care in Pittsburg, Quitman and neighboring communities in Camp, Wood and Marion counties.
Over the course of the four-year training program, more than 50 percent of the rotations take place in designated rural settings. Physician shortages in rural areas are a concern in Texas, where we lead the nation in rural hospital closures. A common thread that our residency programs share is retention of our program graduates. As the need continues for healthcare providers in Texas, UTHSCT continues to seek and train the very best residents to continue the legacy of healthcare in Northeast Texas.