Andrew Morris, DO, PGY3
When my class first started at Scott and White July 2011 (a very hot and dry summer if you remember) we were full of enthusiasm and were ready to take on the world as doctors. Then we realized that with doctoring came great responsibility. Luckily, we have great staff physicians who are determined to make us into top-notch emergency medicine physicians.
We have had many triumphs as young residents. Dr. Dorian Drigalla started his first year as Program Director with our class and is truly dedicated to seeing that we all succeed. Dr. Drigalla has now been joined by Assistant Program Directors Drs. Trey Morris and Andrew Juergens. We opened McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White in October 2011 and are responsible for staffing that emergency department under the medical direction of Dr. Dominic Lucia (Scott & White EM Class of 2009) who came back to us from his Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia. This was first seen as a daunting undertaking, but the hard work paid off. Our pediatric training has been fortified and it truly has been a rewarding experience.
Research is made easy thanks to Dr. David Morgan, TCEP past-president and our Godfather so to say. We have consistent participation at ACEP, TCEP, SAEM, and several international conferences. Several of our residents and staff went to Dublin, Ireland to present various research projects. I am sure that no Guinness was consumed during this professional endeavor. We are also fortunate to learn from Dr. Ryan Morrissey, our Board Certified Toxicologist and Medical Director of the Central Texas Poison Control Center headquartered at Scott & White in Temple. The Emergency Department Chairman, Dr. Keith Stone, continues to involve residents in updating his book, CURRENT Diagnosis and Treatment Emergency Medicine. He and Dr. Dorian Drigalla have also involved several residents in the upcoming pediatric version; keep a look out for it!
We continue to learn both inside and outside the department. Former Program Director, Dr. Tim Stallard, has done an exceptional job as our simulation director. Everyone looks forward to simulation day, as it gives us a chance to challenge ourselves with difficult cases and practice procedures. Usually a senior resident will help run the simulation and we evaluate each other as peers. This is an ideal learning environment that also fosters self-learning. Our ultrasound director, Dr. David Fritz, more than prepares us to be ED ultra-sonographers. We have two dedicated blocks in ultrasound over our first two years of training in addition to the daily ultrasounds that we all perform.
Medical students continue to be an integral part in our training. Often times the best way to learn is to teach. The Texas A&M College of Medicine has incorporated a mandatory MS-IV rotation in Emergency Medicine for all of its students. Dr. Scott Wieters has done a fantastic job in his new role as Medical Student Clerkship Director; he is a gifted teacher and really cares for all of the students. The match has been exceptional over the past few years with excellent recruitment from across the country. Because of the success we have seen, there have been repeated approvals for residency expansion. We are now up to fourteen residents each year. It's nice to have a little more padding in the schedule!
The camaraderie that is frequently sought out in our field can be found in our program. There are several characters on both the resident and staff rosters, which only adds to the fun. Our Vice-Chair, Dr. Robert "Bobby" Greenberg (another TCEP past-president) also is a great source of mentorship and encouragement. I think Dr. Greenberg is constantly starting a new project, or two, or three. Together with Dr. Morgan, we are really encouraged to get involved with Emergency Medicine organizations, especially TCEP. One of our former residents is Dr. Taylor Ratcliff, our EMS director. Dr. Ratcliff remains a firefighter/paramedic, so he is thriving in this role that comes with a fully pimped out Ford Explorer with flashing lights and a fully functional siren. We have had several former residents stay on as attendings and also have had the addition of some new attendings that incorporate their training into our learning.
Scott & White is a great place to practice big city medicine without having to live in a large metropolitan area. Y'all come visit sometime. We'll leave the ED lights on!