The New TCOM-affiliated ONMM Residency program opens at Lake Granbury Medical Center
A second Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine-affiliated residency program has opened at Lake Granbury Medical Center. A new Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency program welcomed its first residents in July, joining the new Dermatology program that is affiliated with TCOM, one of six schools at The University of North Texas Health Science Center, that also began this summer.
These two programs are vital to graduate medical education to help address the looming physician shortage, which according to the Association of American Medical Colleges could be as high as 124,000 by the year 2034.
TCOM professor Dr. Kendi Hensel is the Lake Granbury Residency Program director and welcomed their first two residents, Dr. Robert Lucas and Dr. Ramey Alfarra, in July.
“The faculty here at TCOM have always enjoyed having a residency,” Hensel said. “But after the closure of the most recent program, we got together with Dr. Lisa Nash, and she was able to partner with the leaders at Lake Granbury Medical Center to create this new program.”
The program at Lake Granbury is one of only 24 ONMM residencies across the nation. When graduate medical education fell under a single accreditation in 2020, some of the ONMM programs across the country closed, but not to the detriment of the specialty itself.
“If anything, I think it might have brought greater awareness of the specialty to the wider physician audience outside of osteopathic medicine,” said Nash, TCOM’s associate dean for Educational Programs.
The goal of the residency is clear: to teach the next generation of physicians in osteopathic principles and practices and produce research to support the practice of osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine.
“I really enjoy doing this and knew we needed to build another program,” Hensel said. “TCOM has the second largest OMM faculty of any school in the country and we can maximize the impact of such an amazing group with a residency here in ONMM.”
The first two residents came through the 2023 Match, and when the program is at full-strength, it will have the capacity for 14 residents. The residents are spending part of their time at the HSC Health Clinic, working there one half-day a week. That will increase to three half-days in their second and third years.
“I chose ONMM residency for a multitude of reasons,” said Dr. Robert Lucas, one of the residents. “Sports and physical exercise were a big part of my life growing up and continue to be important to me today, and I find a lot of continuity between these parts of my life and ONMM. I also enjoy working with my hands, so in some ways, it is a natural fit for me.”
“The continuity clinic in Fort Worth has been the highlight so far, especially considering the extensive amount of one-on-one training we have with attendings both in clinic and didactics. Already in my brief time here, I have learned how to make some of my treatments more effective, how to use an ultrasound to examine some common musculoskeletal complaints, how and when to use neural therapy and even some new treatment modalities like the exaggeration technique.”
With the new residency comes the opportunity to help fill the gaps in access to osteopathic manipulative medicine. The HSC Health Clinic has one of the largest numbers of physicians who practice OMM, but there are large parts of the country, including rural Texas, where there are no physicians within 100 miles trained in OMM. Hensel wants to change that.
“I would like to see the graduates of this program go into a mix of things,” Hensel said. “Some are into academics because we need more OMM people in medical schools. Some in clinical practice and I would love to have some of them go into research. I just hope this program turns out some really high-quality osteopathic physicians that move the profession forward.”