December 15, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 40


In profile

Newly Granted


Distinguished Harlingen pediatrician selected to lead residency


Dr. Stanley I. Fisch, a pediatrician who earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine 30 years ago and who founded Harlingen Pediatrics Associates in 1982, recently was named director of the pediatric residency training program of the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC).

Eleven general pediatricians already are working with medical students who are doing their rotations in Harlingen, he noted. Dr. Fisch is in the process of recruiting several subspecialists from the Lower Rio Grande Valley to participate in the pediatric residency program and will announce those appointments in January.

"We are assembling an outstanding team of community faculty who have the primary responsibility of working with RAHC residents and medical students," he said. "A number of medical students from the Health Science Center already have completed their standard six-week pediatric clerkships in Harlingen rather than doing them in San Antonio."

The RAHC’s medical education division in Harlingen will be adjacent to Valley Baptist Medical Center and Su Clinica Familiar. Pediatrics residents and medical students are gaining their training in those institutions and other Valley practices.

Dr. Fisch

Dr. Fisch is the chief executive officer of Harlingen Pediatrics Associates. He serves on the boards of directors for Holy Family Services Birth Center in Weslaco and Valley Baptist Health Plans and is a member of the medical advisory committee of the Midwest Migrant Health Information Office in Relampago. Valley Baptist Medical Center appointed him as an attending physician in 1973 and South Texas Hospital named him as a consulting physician in 1983.

He is the founder and presiding officer of the Child Fatality Review Team of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and is an invited participant in the National Faculty Scholars Program of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Fisch as the director for the RAHC’s pediatric residency training program," said Dr. Leonel Vela, regional dean, who is supervising development of the RAHC. "Stan encompasses the best in public service and professionalism. He has been an outstanding physician leader in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for many years and is held in highest regard by the community. Stan does not undertake a new initiative unless he can achieve it with excellence. Under his leadership, we look forward to the creation of a truly excellent pediatric residency training program and to excellent medical student rotations."

Dr. Celia Kaye, professor and chair of pediatrics at the Health Science Center, added: "Dr. Fisch has the primary responsibility for creating the RAHC pediatric residency program, which will involve at least eight pediatric subspecialties and which will train medical students and residents. Stan is a stellar person who brings the wisdom, experience, enthusiasm and sense of humor needed for this very challenging job. I couldn’t be happier with the strides he has already made in program development. Stan is terrific to work with and we are blessed to have him as a member of the department of pediatrics."

Third-year medical student Nathan Thomas enjoyed his recent pediatrics rotation in Harlingen. "I loved it," he said. "We saw more patients than we might have otherwise and we saw pathology that is unique to South Texas. It is different medicine. For example, hepatitis A is prevalent there. I learned that the hepatitis A vaccine is administered to every child in school in the Valley but is not required in San Antonio.

"The RAHC faculty showed confidence in us and went over cases with us. The one-on-one work with staff was really great."

Thomas’ wife, Mika, also is a third-year medical student and participated in the RAHC pediatrics rotation.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) will consist of a medical education division in Harlingen, a medical research division in Edinburg and a public health division in Brownsville. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will operate the medical education and medical research divisions. The RAHC medical education division will provide resident and medical student training that is the same in quality, services and support as that offered in San Antonio.