The Family Medicine Residency Program at LSU Health Shreveport is a university based program that incorporates community affiliated training. We boast several nationally known family medicine teachers on our faculty and have produced many graduates who practice in every type of setting. Our outstanding faculty has varied interests, which allows residents to participate in several areas of special interest, such as sports medicine, health promotion, rural medicine, and geriatrics.
The goal of the rural family practice residency program at North Caddo Medical Center is to adequately prepare physicians to practice in a rural setting. There are many underserved rural areas in Louisiana that are miles away from a large medical center. The program prepares physicians to provide comprehensive care for common illnesses in inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department settings. This enables local patients to receive most of their care close to home. Appropriate consultation or transfers are arranged when necessary with specialists in tertiary care settings. The facilities involved include a 25-bed hospital with two operating rooms, two labor and delivery suites, emergency room, procedure room and inpatient beds, an eighty bed nursing home, and an out-patient clinic. The program includes four board-certified family physicians, who provide a broad spectrum of cradle-to-grave medical care to the patients in Vivian and its surrounding areas in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana (population base: 30,000).
All of these procedures can then be followed up with a specialist if the findings deem it necessary. Since we are located at the extreme north end of Caddo parish, many trauma cases including MVA’s, oil field and farm injuries are brought here for treatment. Our residents are taught to treat and stabilize for transfer if necessary. We have a helicopter landing pad for critical patients. North Caddo Medical Center sees everything in the emergency room from a routine ear ache to complicated traumas and MIs. Our residents treat them all. We average almost seven thousand emergency room visits a year. We have a full time OB/GYN on staff so our residents assist with vaginal births and C-sections. The average number of babies delivered here is around 75 per year. Here at North Caddo Medical Center, we perform laparoscopic as well as conventional surgery that our residents assist with, as well as other major and minor procedures. Over the last 3 years we have an average of 1200 inpatient admissions per year which are followed by the residents on a daily basis. Comprehensive and continuity of care are provided in the adjacent rural health clinic.
Residents spend their PGY I year at LSU Health Shreveport. The PGY II and PGY III years are spent in Vivian, Louisiana with the majority of training occurring in its hospital, emergency room, out-patient clinic and nursing home. Our residents are taught to perform EGDs, colonoscopies and basic stress tests. Other services provided include basic general surgery, obstetrics, echocardiography, closed reduction of fractures of the upper and lower limbs, skin surgery (including skin cancer), and basic hospital-based internal medicine (including intensive care).
Due to a high geriatric patient population, there is a busy and varied inpatient service in Vivian, which provides another excellent learning source for the resident. The 30-mile proximity to Shreveport and close working relationship with the associated tertiary hospital at LSU Health Sciences Center and Willis-Knighton Hospital, offer ready access to consultation and associated services as required. In addition, specialists in ophthalmology and cardiology rotate through the clinic and hospital facilities in Vivian.
Residents have the opportunity of off-site rotations during their second and third years, to further enhance their skills in areas such as high-risk obstetrics or other fields that may be helpful in a rural practice. Additional didactic education is provided via conferences at LSU Health Shreveport and direct teaching conferences via satellite and closed circuit interactive TV from Shreveport to the hospital in Vivian.