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Integrated Community Health Elective

Frontera activities include a clinical primary care/public health elective for physicians in residency training programs. Frontera de Salud offers the Integrated Community Health Elective for senior Internal Medicine or Family Medicine residents. The four to six week elective is offered to senior residents from across the United States. The elective is funded by grants cooperatively sought by Frontera de Salud and the empowered community of Cameron Park, an impoverished community located on the outskirts of Brownsville, the southernmost city in Texas.

Specifically, participating medical residents will be tasked with providing community-based healthcare, guiding Frontera’s outreach programs, overseeing the work of lay health educators, and supervising Frontera’s student volunteers on their monthly visits. The clinic is located within the Cameron Park community and will be supervised by the Brownsville Community Health Center. To develop a successful and rich experience for the community and the medical resident Frontera has formed a partnership with the Brownsville Community Health Center, furthering partnerships with UT-San Antonio’s Regional Academic Health Science Center, the UT-Houston School of Public Health, and the leadership of the Cameron Park Community.

The medical resident will have a unique, and we expect, highly rewarding opportunity to engage in the day-to-day life of the community, joining in social activities and accumulating memories to carry into their future careers. The ICHE is key to Frontera’s mission of supporting the humanistic aspirations of healthcare professionals throughout their training. Not only will the community be served by having resident physicians available to provide care, the residents themselves will be served by this opportunity to put their primary skills to use and their compassion into practice.

Integrated Community Health Elective Curriculum

The curriculum is developed around four areas of concentration. These include: Clinical Medicine, Public Health, Community Experience, and Professionalism. Our goal is to develop a unique, and we expect, highly rewarding experience for residents as they learn to care for patients in a medically underserved predominantly Hispanic community.

Clinical Medicine: Residents will provide outpatient medical care to a predominantly Hispanic speaking community.

Public Health: To appropriately care for patients in South Texas it is vital that residents understand the public health issues, cultural health issues, and health care environment of South Texas. We plan to augment the resident’s clinical experience with introductions to public health and health policy issues.

Community Experience: To experience and understand the dynamics of an empowered community through care of its population.

Professionalism: Reflection and discussion regarding the “profession” of medicine and the role of the physician in society.

Eligibility & Duration

4-6 week elective rotation open to senior Family and/or Internal Medicine residents in any ACGME accredited family or internal medicine residency program.

Faculty

Henry L. Imperial, MD
Medical Director
Brownsville Community Health Center

Paula S. Gomez
Executive Director
Brownsville Community Health Center

Kirk L. Smith, MD PhD
Executive Director, Frontera de Salud
Arnold P. Gold Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Medical Branch

Sister Phylis Peters
Project Director
Proyecto Juan Diego

Living in Brownsville

During your rotation, accommodations have been arranged at an apartment complex five minutes from the community clinic. Frontera residents also have full use of workout facilities at the new Worlds Gym also located five minutes from the community clinic. If you are an out of state resident, Frontera will provide you with a rental car during your elective rotation. Please feel free to visit this web site for more info about the city of Brownsville.

Partnerships

Frontera has brought together the academic resources of South Texas to enrich the educational experience of our visiting resident. Please visit our Sponsors page to learn more about our partnerships.