SRMC class begins rotations in internship

With last week’s hospital orientation behind them, this week marks the start of rotations for six new doctors who are beginning their Traditional Rotating Internship or Dermatology Residency at Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC). This is SRMC’s first class of Interns and second class of Dermatology Residents since the hospital received program approval by the American Osteopathic Association last year.

The Traditional Rotating Internship (TRI) is a one-year program for medical school graduates and first year residents who are seeking to advance into a more specialized residency.

“While referred to as interns, these doctors are completing their first year of residency,” said Dr. Subodh Pal, who provides program oversight for the TRI. “They completed clinical rotations during their third and fourth year of medical school, and this is the next step in their training.” According to Dr. Pal, Interns have patients assigned to them and are responsible for patient care. “Interns and residents have the privileges and responsibilities of a physician, only their work is co-signed and overseen by an Attending Physician,” he explained.

Students who are participating in the program are Alex Bass, DO of Clinton; Felicia Ekpo, DO of Garland, Texas; Dylon Howard, DO of Stillwater, Ok.; Ryan Jackson, DO of Mesa, Ariz.; Angela Macri, DO of North Palm Beach, Fla.; and Brianna McDaniel, DO of New Orleans, La.

SRMC’s four intern physicians will complete monthly rotations through a number of required training areas, including internal medicine, emergency medicine, critical care, OB-GYN, and pediatrics. During these rotations, they will follow attending physicians who are part of SRMC’s medical staff. “This is part of their post-doctoral training – they will admit patients, perform procedures, write orders, diagnose, treat, and develop care plans,” said Dr. Pal.

SRMC’s Dermatology Residency began last fall with one resident, Dr. Laura Sandoval. Dr. Sandoval is joined this summer by two new dermatology residents who will spend most of their time training at DermOne in Wilmington, NC, under the direction of the hospital’s Dermatology Residency Program Director, Dr. Jonathan Crane.

“For more than a couple of years now, we have been looking forward to this day,” stated Dr. Shawn Howerton, Chief Executive & Medical Officer for SRMC. The development of residency programs is a strategic effort by SRMC to improve rural healthcare in Sampson County by increasing physician recruitment and preserving valuable services in the community. “The establishment of our graduate medical education programs underscores our commitment to training residents and recruiting future licensed physicians to help rural and medically underserved communities retain providers,” asserted Dr. Howerton.

In addition to Interns and Residents, SRMC will also receive third and fourth year medical students from the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. Next summer, the hospital will fill a greater number of positions for both the TRI and Dermatology programs and will receive its first class of Family Medicine Residents.