We are excited to introduce the Rural Psychiatry Residency program, located in beautiful Pittsburg, Texas! The Rural Psychiatry Residency program was developed in 2020 with the overarching goal of providing increased access to high quality mental health services in rural East Texas while simultaneously training the next generation of exceptional psychiatrists.
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Moving my family from an overcrowded metropolitan area to Northeast Texas in 2016 was not a hard sell, especially once I experienced the area’s charm coupled with the existing high-quality healthcare system and extraordinary academic opportunities. I now proudly call East Texas my home.
I have been honored to help build the urban psychiatry residency training program at The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler, an institution active in Graduate Medical Education since 1984. The rural psychiatry program will operate under this same sponsoring institution, allowing both the urban (Tyler) and rural (Pittsburg) psychiatry residency programs to have a close working relationship.
UT Health Science Center is a member of the UT Health East Texas integrated healthcare system. The system includes ten hospitals and 52 clinic locations within the 25,000 square mile region of Northeast Texas. Health outcomes in our region are some of the worst in the state and physician shortages exist in all areas of medicine including primary care, psychiatry and various subspecialties.
Growing up in rural West Virginia and now practicing in rural Northeast Texas, I thoroughly understand how access to mental health services can change the lives of the people living in a community. As a child, I can recall many devastating stories of untreated mental illness leading to the most catastrophic outcomes including several suicides in our small community. While the development of our psychiatry residency program in Tyler in 2016 has had a tremendous impact on the availability of mental health resources, one residency program alone simply cannot provide mental health coverage for the entire Northeast Texas region, which spans 35 counties. Our department and our institution are dedicated to providing mental health care access to every individual in Northeast Texas. By developing a rural psychiatry program in Pittsburg, TX, we will continue to close the gap of health care disparities in our region.
The future of Tyler, Texas, and the surrounding area is bright. As the area’s only academic medical center, the University of Texas System Board of Regents recently approved a medical school to add to an already robust education and healthcare system in Tyler, beginning in 2023. With the furthering strengthening of our medical community in Tyler, we will undoubtedly begin to see the fruits of our labor positively affect the surrounding rural communities such as Pittsburg.
Pittsburg and the surrounding areas offer extremely affordable housing, amazingly lush scenery and a plethora of outdoor activities. Some of the favorite local activities include hiking, wine tasting, fishing, hunting and camping. The current rural family medicine residents have bragged about living on a house on Lake Bob Sandlin, catching their own fish for dinner, and paying less than 25% of the rent their colleagues in Dallas pay for an apartment. For those residents who want to enjoy a taste of the urban life, downtown Dallas is less than 2 hours away from the Pittsburg hospital. Dallas is home to several professional sports teams and hosts a constant flow of entertainment opportunities including impressive concerts line-ups, comedians, theaters, fine dining options and the annual state fair.
Our goal is to prepare our psychiatry residents to thrive in a rural psychiatry practice, to develop and maintain exceptional work-life balance, and to improve the health of our rural populations while helping to eliminate health disparities.
Faculty and the current urban psychiatry residents are eager to meet applicants for our inaugural rural psychiatry residency class!
Arunditi Xantus, MD