Published on June 30, 2016

Holzer physician training program celebrates one year

“In July 2015, Holzer began the first academic year for three Holzer Family Practice residents, 10 medical students from Ohio University and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and several advanced practice provider nursing students and physician assistants,” stated Christopher T. Meyer, DO, CEO, Holzer Health System. “The programs are successful in that all rotations were met and favorably evaluated; students, residents, and APP trainees are satisfied with their experiences; Holzer physicians graciously conducted the preceptorships; and several of the residents and providers in training want to begin their professional careers with Holzer.”

Holzer supported ten medical students and three family medicine residents throughout its first year. The third-year students were from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM) and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM); Holzer now has long-term contracts with both schools. In the very near future, three new residents will join the staff, providing six total residents in the system. In addition, twelve medical students from OUHCOM and WVSOM will also begin their rotation.
In July, three new residents will join the staff, providing six total residents in the system. In addition, new students from OHHCOM and WVSOM will also begin their rotations.

The first two years after students have entered medical school, they spend most of their time in the classroom. They begin their hospital training experience in their third and fourth years before graduation. After that, they are required to enter a residency program that could last anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the specialty. During their residency experience, physicians in training become licensed in their states. The students spend almost all of their time in the third and fourth years working month-long rotations with staff physicians at Holzer who now have clinical faculty appointments through OUHCOM. For example, an entire year will be spent seeing patients on family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, emergency medicine, and a few elective services like orthopedics, radiology, and dermatology. The students spend a lot of time observing residents and faculty physicians while learning how to take care of patients under their supervision. This on-the-job apprentice-like training is supplemented by daily lectures and case conferences which involve reviews of patient problems. Long hours, sometimes 12-hour days and weekends, are not uncommon.

After graduation, some of the medical students will be recruited into the Holzer Family Practice Residency and others will leave to train elsewhere. Residents rotate through similar services but from year to year take on additional responsibility caring for patients while still under the supervision of Holzer staff physicians. Family Practice residents also spend more time during those three years in outpatient offices learning how to care for patients in that setting. For Holzer, the residency outpatient clinics will be located at the Sycamore Clinic in Gallipolis, Ohio, under the direction of Christopher Marazon, DO, and at the Jenkins Clinic in Wellston, Ohio, under the direction of Douglas Jones, MD. Dr. Marazon also serves as the overall residency program director. Residents are also required to attend daily lectures, case conferences, and journal clubs as well as academic programs at Ohio University.

“The Family Practice Residency at Holzer Health System strengthens the relationship between the communities we serve by fostering a scholarly environment with a renewing energy from active learning minds,” stated Dr. Marazon. “We will have friendly patient visits with attention to educating our patients about their medical conditions at every visit.”

“This is a tremendous advance for Holzer and its patients,” Dr. Meyer said. “It’s universally accepted that undergraduate and graduate medical education programs strengthen the quality of services health systems provide, offer needed assistance to faculty physicians, enhance the prestige of hospitals as teaching centers, and address local recruitment needs,” he added.

Second Year Family Medicine Residents at Holzer include: Ben Jaderholm, DO, Christopher Jude, DO, Tony Valentine, DO. First Year Family Medicine Residents include: Dane Black, DO, Elizabeth Bentley, DO, and Joshua Bryant, DO. Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine Medical students are: Chance Benner, Jordan Browning, Sarah Castiglia, Francis Essien, Kaitlin Hicks, Hiepp Luu, Berna Pignotti, and Jason Rodriguez. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine students include: Ayush Shah, Deepak Kesani, and Julien Exposito.

As far as expense, the costs of the residency programs are largely reimbursed by the federal government through the Medicare program. Holzer bears costs as well for both students and residents, and each of the participating medical schools are contributing financial contributions to the establishment of the training programs.

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