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Dr. Lochala & Dr. Zimmerman discuss the Graduate Medical Education program

Dr. Roddy Lochala, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Stacy Zimmerman, M.D., FACP, FAAP to discuss the Graduate Medical Education program at Unity Health.

Dr. Roddy Lochala: I am here today with Dr. Stacy Zimmerman, an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Physician serving Unity Health as the Internal Medicine Program Director. We want to discuss today a bit of our Residency program for our Medical Residents.

Dr. Zimmerman, could you describe what a Medical Resident Physician is?

Dr. Stacy Zimmerman: A Medical Resident Physician is someone who has already graduated from medical school. They have graduated from medical school, they are at the stage in their training that they are an M.D. or a D.O., both are equivalent, and they leave medical school to extend their training for three to four years in their chosen specialty. They come to Unity Health to train with our expert physicians intensively.

Dr. Roddy Lochala: Dr. Zimmerman, how did we recruit you to Unity Health? You have practiced for over 15 years as an internal medicine physician and pediatrician. What about teaching and educating young physicians attracted you to the Graduate Medical Education program?

Dr. Stacy Zimmerman: I enjoyed private practice tremendously. I loved having my own patients, but when Mr. Montgomary approached me to join Unity Health, he put forth a philosophy of educating doctors that, frankly, after practicing for so long in rural Arkansas that I couldn't turn down. We all recognize healthcare as a fragmented system, and I was given the opportunity to help improve that fragmentation outside of the four walls of my practice. Teaching young physicians, just out of medical school, all the crucial ways to care for patients.

Mr. Montgomary was so visionary in wanting to develop a residency program that treats the entire patient and really looks for those care gaps. So, when patients are in the hospital or a clinic, we can try to bridge those holes in the healthcare system to help them have the best outcomes. That was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down.

Dr. Roddy Lochala: That is such an interesting story because mine is very similar. I am a Family Physician and getting to come to Unity Health to expand the impact. Healthcare is both art and science; what I hear from other physicians and residents is the humanity that you instill in their education. We can never forget our humanity in medicine. I appreciate you teaching that to our young physicians and let them go into our communities to make an impact on our community. They create relationships and partner in their health.

Dr. Stacy Zimmerman: It is really important for residents to learn how to navigate the healthcare system and navigate all the nuances in the healthcare system. You do that by communicating well with your patent, so when patients come into our hospital, their primary care doctor is one of our Resident Physicians. They are taught to take that patient and make sure everything is being taken care of. At the same time, they have a supervising attending physician with years of experience, teaching them to improve upon their skills. Residency is about honing your skills in a supervised environment with an experienced physician who has the wisdom that can only be passed down on on-the-job training. That is why our residency program is important and steps up the standard of healthcare.

Dr. Roddy Lochala: That is one of the things I love about medicine, the apprenticeship of it, that we hand things down to the next generation while at the same time learning new treatments and techniques. Unity Health is the second-largest graduate medical education program in the state of Arkansas.