Tripler Army Medical Center, also known as TAMC, has been developing and training military medical professionals for more than 65 years through their Graduate Health Education (GHE) program. For decades, Army medicine has worked to train the military healthcare team of the future through its GHE program and TAMC has been a significant part of the Army’s medical training mission.
TAMC, in coordination with its program directors, provide an organized educational program with guidance and supervision of its residents, facilitating their professional and personal development while ensuring safe and appropriate patient care.
TAMC began the GHE program in February of 1949 when the Internal Medicine residency program received its initial accreditation. The goal of the GHE program at TAMC is to educate and train physicians in various medical and surgical disciplines so that, upon completion of the training program, residents are able to pass their board certification exam, have demonstrated sufficient competence to enter practice without direct supervision, are competent practitioners and are able to practice their specialty in the U.S. and abroad.
TAMC is a major teaching hospital which currently sponsors 240 resident positions in 14 accredited physician training programs including Radiology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology and General Surgery, as well as 11 non-physician graduate programs.
“Our beneficiaries deserve nothing but the best,” said Col. Kent Dezee, chief of the TAMC Directorate of Health Education and Training. “By closely supervising our residents, we ensure great patient care for our current patients and excellent preparation for our residents’ future patients. We design the training to meet not only civilian accreditation rules, such as Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Council and American Board of Medical Specialties, but also the specialized needs of military physicians.”
A potential candidate must be selected competitively by the GHE selection board. These selections are made annually and are based on a number of criteria such as previous schooling, letters of recommendation, Officer Evaluation Reports, titles of completed research and presentations, and board examination scores as well as a formal interview with one of the program directors. All of this information will be compiled to determine where on the Order of Merit List the candidate will fall.
TAMC is affiliated with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as a teaching hospital and a majority of the candidates have received a health professions scholarship for their training.
“Tripler has enjoyed a robust program of faculty development opportunities in collaboration with the USUHS,” remarked DeZee. “The collaboration provides the trainees medical education platforms, including strong clerkship opportunities, coupled with the highest quality of education; ensuring that our beneficiaries receive highly reliable care at Tripler and throughout Army Medicine facilities.”
The GHE program constantly develops and strengthens the curriculum offered in the program in order to prepare graduates for the evolving needs of patients and the healthcare system.
“The medical field is constantly evolving,” said Dezee “We have to adjust our curriculum to ensure that we are teaching the most up-to-date methods of care for our patients.”
A resident in the GHE program can spend one to six years in the program depending on the specialty of their training.
“The TAMC GHE program did a tremendous job of preparing me for both inpatient and outpatient medicine as a doctor of Internal Medicine and as an Army provider,” said Maj. Eric Swanson, Chief of the Internal Medicine clinic. “We did many rotations during my three-year training at TAMC that included outpatient encounters, subspecialty rotations (Oncology, Gastro Intestinal Tract, etc.), and many inpatient rotations for general medicine and critical care patients.”
The GHE programs also encourage research and innovation to advance patient care with state-of-the-art technology. TAMC is able to produce exceptional educational outcomes with customized training to ensure graduates are well prepared to care for the population of healthcare beneficiaries they serve.
Each year the program graduates approximately 140 residents. This equates to producing more than 15 percent of the Army’s licensed physicians each year. Many of these residents will move on to operational assignments throughout the world where they will begin utilizing the skills they have learned. These physicians are trained on the most up-to-date methods and with state of the art equipment.
“I have done multiple global health engagements throughout my residency program and it has prepared me for just about anything I may encounter,” said Anthony Tolisano, chief resident of the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic. “Many times on these engagements, we may not have all of the best tools or facilities to operate in and that is what it can be like when we deploy, so Ifeel that once I leave here, I will be ready to perform my best under whatever circumstance I may find myself in.”
Beneficiaries deserve the very best care possible and the GHE program allows them to receive that care from a network of multiple providers working collaboratively with the best interest of the beneficiary in mind.