Baptist hospital implements new residency program

Published 4:35 pm Friday, July 23, 2021

Oxford’s first medical residency program began this month with 12 doctors.

Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi introduced the new three-year internal medicine residency program earlier this month.

“Oxford certainly has the resources to provide this type of training here, so this has been part of the strategic initiative for five years or more, and it just came to fruition,” said Program Director Seger Morris, D.O. “We’re very excited about the program.”

Baptist has hosted Graduate Medical Education Programs in Memphis for more than 30 years and first expanded to include community-based residency programs with the launch of the Internal Medicine Residency at BMH-Golden Triangle in 2017. 

Around that same time, the vision for an Internal Medicine Residency in Oxford was formed.

In May 2020, Baptist submitted an application to establish the program to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the ACGME awarded Baptist the initial accreditation in January 2021.

“Achieving ACGME accreditation is a huge accomplishment, and this is a testament to the vision, expertise and diligence of the Baptist organization,” Morris said. “Our faculty has designed an innovative learning environment, Baptist has allocated substantial resources to ensure proper implementation of our plans, and students from around the world have already expressed interest in training here. 

“I know our entire team will be proud to watch our first class of 12 resident physicians make their mark as the pioneers of this substantial boost to health care in North Mississippi and beyond.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Mississippi ranked last with the fewest active physicians at 191.3 per 100,000 population. In addition, Mississippi had 65.9 active primary care physicians per 100,000 population, which is below the United States’ state median of 90.8.

The goal of the residency program is to increase the number of physicians in the state and Mid-South region and boost healthcare.

Internal medicine physician and resident Johnny Green, D.O., M.B.S, met Morris during a Zoom presentation at his medical school in 2020 and was drawn to his passion and the future he painted for Baptist in North Mississippi. Green said is excited to be a part of the future of healthcare in Mississippi and optimistic about the experiences he will gain from the program.

It’s an exciting opportunity to be a member of the first class of the internal medicine residency program at Baptist North Mississippi,” said Green. “We have the privilege of learning directly from our attending physicians and  gaining exposure to their years of experience and knowledge. Furthermore, we have the unique opportunity to pave the way for future residents.”

The program has already approved 12 positions and 12 more positions will be added each year, culminating in 36 positions overall. Residents will divide their time between general internal medicine and subspecialties such as the ICU, ER and outpatient clinics. 

Three sections of the program will require residents to transfer to Baptist Memorial Hospital – Memphis for one month at a time.

The hospital’s goal is to provide incoming residents with a first-class education and help them prepare for practicing medicine by covering the required curricula, disciplines and technologies.

I think now more than ever, technology has proven to be an important lifeline between provider and patient,” said Green. “I think that technology will continue to move us forward and make healthcare  more accessible to more patients within the community.”

Residents will have the opportunity to train alongside a diverse faculty who are Board certified in their fields and who all bring their unique experiences and expertise to the table. 

“From clinic research publications, national leadership positions, expertise in healthcare quality and patient safety, to bedside clinical excellence, our faculty offer an innovative training environment for the next generation of physicians,” Morris said.

Residents will also earn their Institute for Healthcare Improvement Basic Certificate in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety upon completion of the program.

“Continuous improvement is critical for innovation in healthcare, and the next generation of physicians must have the tools to lead care teams and drive innovation from the bedside to the boardroom and beyond,” Morris said.