News release
Contact:
210-567-3080

News Release Archive

Office of External Affairs

Mission magazine

Vital Signs

University page

Graduating doctors to practice in Coastal Bend (6/25/97)

Five of the 10 graduating physicians from Corpus Christi's Family Practice Residency Program at Spohn Memorial Hospital will stay in the Coastal Bend, and for one of them, it will be a homecoming.

Oscar Reynolds, MD, one of the graduates, is returning to practice in his hometown of Alice, 45 miles west of Corpus Christi. "Throughout my undergraduate years and into medical school, I always intended to return to Alice. There's no place like home," Dr. Reynolds said.

Medical school graduates usually must complete three years of residency training before they begin independent practice. Residency programs in South Texas strive to retain residents once they finish their training because most counties, including Nueces and surrounding counties, have fewer primary care physicians than the national average.

"Half of our graduating residents are going to practice in Corpus Christi and the region, and several are going to practice in smaller towns. This is a very good group of doctors so the news is very encouraging for us," said Rick Edwards, MD, medical director. Graduation is June 30.

Dr. Reynolds said he was able to complete his degrees and medical training within 200 miles of home. He graduated from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University-Kingsville) in 1989 and received his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

His desire to practice in a smaller town got stronger in residency. Dr. Reynolds cited a rewarding experience he had as a third-year resident when he spent one month in a Texas Family Practice Residents Rural Rotation helping patients in San Diego, 10 miles from Alice. "The people are so grateful for your help," he said.

"My experiences earlier as a rotating third-year medical student at the Corpus Christi Family Practice Program drew me to Corpus Christi. This is a community residency as opposed to one in a university setting that you would find in bigger cities. We see lots of patients and treat many types of cases," Dr. Reynolds said.

The residency program is supported by the Nueces County Medical Education Foundation in cooperation with Spohn Memorial Hospital. The program is affiliated with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The size of the program is expanding with support from the South Texas/Border Region Health Education Initiative, a legislative project administered by the Health Science Center to enhance health education opportunities in the region.

Beginning July 1, the program will accept 12 new first-year residents instead of 10, with an additional two second-year residents, bringing the total to 34 residents. Expansion will be complete in July 1998 with a total of 36 residents. The program previously had 30.

The state initiative also supports another residency program in family practice in Corpus Christi. The program based at Columbia Bay Area Medical Center is part of a "distance education" telecommunications network that links classrooms to many learning sites in Texas. The Bay Area program will graduate seven osteopathic doctors, four of whom plan to practice in the Coastal Bend region.

The Spohn Memorial graduates are:

Sandra Guerrero, MD, of The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. She plans to practice in San Antonio.

Joseph Larakers, MD, of the University of Illinois. He plans to practice in Beeville.

David Foster, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He plans to do *locum tenens* practice in the United States.

Luz Maria Gascot, MD, of The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. She plans to practice in Robstown.

Ajay Gupta, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He plans to practice in Austin.

Stephen Nowicki, MD, of The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. He plans to practice in San Antonio.

Jean Peters-Do, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

Kent Petty, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Columbus.

Oscar Reynolds, MD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He plans to practice in Alice.

Robb Sherron, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

The Bay Area graduates are:

Susan Allen, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

Christopher Bell, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

Jeffrey Johnson, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

Scott Robinson, DO, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He plans to practice in Corpus Christi.

Fran Sanders, DO, of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He plans to practice at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss.

Thomas Scherich, DO, of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He plans to practice in Phoenix.

Eva Bowers Shay, DO, of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. She is undecided.

Contact: Jim Barrett (210) 567-2570