St. Bernards Welcomes Five New Physicians to Internal Medicine Residency Program

St. Bernards Welcomes Five New Physicians to Internal Medicine Residency Program

St. Bernards has welcomed its second class of five physicians into its Internal Medicine Residency program.

Recognizing the need in the region for more physicians with advanced training in the field of internal medicine, St. Bernards last year established a residency program to train medical school graduates in the broad field of internal medicine.

The physicians who are first-year residents recently began a three-year program of intensive training through observation, lectures, working under the mentorship of other physicians to provide care for patients in the hospital setting and caring for and following patients through a resident clinic.

New residents include the following:

John Garmany Brunner, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan, Ala.;
Logan Collins, D.O.,  Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colo.;
Mitch Hervert, D.O., Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio Sciences, Kansas City, Mo.;
Matthew Johnson, D.O., Touro University-Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, Henderson, Nev.; and
Dustin Ybarra, D.O., Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dothan, Ala.

The physicians have begun extensive training under the direct supervision of attending physicians. They see patients, decide on treatment plans, review them with the senior attending physician, write prescriptions, give medical orders and document in medical records, as well as provide osteopathic manipulative treatment.

While medical school teaches a broad range of medical knowledge, basic clinical skills and supervised experience practicing medicine overall, the residency program gives physicians in-depth, advanced training in internal medicine.

The St. Bernards program emphasizes didactic training and includes daily morning reports and Friday lectures, case presentations, attending lectures, grand rounds, case discussions, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab and lectures, journal club, resident lectures, research opportunities and ambulatory care clinical experiences.

After successfully completing the program, the physicians can become independent practitioners.

“Our hope is that some of these residents will choose to remain in this area after completing their residencies,” says Dr. Sara Nehring, St. Bernards internist who serves as program director.

St. Bernards has made a substantial financial commitment to develop the internal medicine residency program in part because there is a need for more internal medicine physicians in rural areas, she explains. “This gives us the opportunity to expose young physicians to those needs and to develop relationships with patients in this region and develop an understanding for the type of care they need.”

Though it can be difficult to recruit internists to rural areas like Jonesboro and other communities in Northeast Arkansas, Nehring says it makes good sense to bring physicians here for that higher level of education and hope that, as national trends suggest, some will choose to stay in the area.

The new residents join five other young physicians who were part of the inaugural class of IM residents, bringing to 10 the number of residents in the program.