Internal Medicine Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What makes San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) unique?

A1. We are a combined Air Force and Army program utilizing two campuses- Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) and San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) (formerly Brooke Army Medical Center). The majority of your rotations will be at SAMMC. This transition to a larger, multi-campus program has expanded resident learning opportunities, broadened breadth of experience, and increased exposure to new teaching styles and patient care systems. This has made SAUSHEC one of leading military educational programs in the DoD.

Q2. What is the conference schedule for a typical day?

A2.

  1. Morning report 08:00-08:45 Monday-Friday
  2. Conference 08:45-09:30 Monday-Thursday
  3. Grand Rounds 12:00 noon Fridays

Q3. What is the call schedule for wards?

A3.

  1. During a ward month, you will get new patients 4 of every 6 days.
  2. Example:
    MONDAY: call (admitting patients between 15:00-19:00)
    TUESDAY: post-call (no new patients)
    WEDNESDAY: night float (taking patients admitted overnight)
    THURSDAY: day call (admitting patients between 07:00-12:00)
    FRIDAY: night float (taking patients admitted overnight), and golden day (no new patients)
    SATURDAY: repeat!

Q4. Where do we do rotations?

A4. During residency you will do rotations at a variety of facilities in San Antonio. As previously mentioned, the majority of your inpatient wards and critical care rotations will be at SAMMC. You will also have some outpatient rotations at WHASC throughout residency. Second year residents will rotate at University Hospital for one month to see a diverse patient population. Third year residents also rotate at either the Texas Center for Infectious Disease (a public health facility of the Department of State Health Services for the treatment of Tuberculosis) or the Family Focused AIDS Clinical Treatment Services (FFACTS) clinic.

Q5. What is the typical intern schedule look like?

A5. The typical intern curriculum as well as the curriculum for PGY2 and PGY3

Q6. What opportunities are there for residents interested in global health?

A6. One of the unique opportunities we have as active duty residents is the opportunity to do a Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs), which are humanitarian training missions in a variety of countries. Residents are able to provide general and specialized medical to thousands of host nation citizens requiring care. Residents have described this opportunity as important part of military medical curriculum learning how to care for patients in austere environments. Host nation participants to date include Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Suriname.

Q7. How has the Base Realignmanet and Closure (BRAC) process impacted BAMC and Lackland AFB?

A7. BRAC has affected a variety of military facilities in the San Antonio with BAMC being the first and largest single project. With the new construction and renovation of Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, BAMC is near completion to adding 750,000 square feet, expanding from 275 beds to approximately 425. Once complete, BAMC will be one of the top military facilities in the DoD with ability to provide level 1 trauma/emergency medical care and inpatient medical care. BAMC will be known as San Antonio Medical Center (SAMMC) and has partnered with Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center (WHASC) to be a premier large outpatient medical care center. WHASC will function as a large primary care, ambulatory surgery, laboratory, and pharmacy services. BAMC and Lackland AFB are not the only BRAC projects with new construction and renovation occurring at a variety of bases across San Antonio. For more information can be obtained by visiting the following websites:

Q8. What items do I need to make my in-processing smoother?

A. The combination of beginning an internship, military in-processing, and moving to a new city can be overwhelming and stressful. To help make your in-processing pain free, please bring at least 5 copies of each of the following: military ID, PCS orders, medical school diploma, vaccination records, any military service records, verification of prior MURT/BLS/ACLS, vehicle registration, insurance, license plate number/state/expiration, and copies of legal paperwork (marriage certificates, birth certificates, copies of family social security cards, etc.).

Q9. You’ve got your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders but what do you do next?

A9. Any move can be a very overwhelming, full of panic and stress. To make the relocation process easy it is best to make an appointment or contact your travel office as early as possible to discuss the moving and financial options available in the military. To assist in this process you can call the Base Installation Housing Office at (210)-671-1840 for Lackland Air Force Base or (210)-221-9274/1008 for Ft. Sam Houston: One stop In/Out Processing. Both offices can provide guidance and information to help you navigate the travel process.

Q10. What can I expect regarding the GME intern orientation?

A10. All incoming interns will receive information by mail from SAUSHEC regarding orientation, in-processing, military pay and benefits, etc. There will be a three week orientation period which will be invaluable to help coordinate and complete military specific requirements prior to the actual internship start date of 1 July.

Q11. Will I have to take an Army or Air Force Physical Fitness test during orientation?

A11.

  1. All incoming interns will have a physical fitness testing sometime during orientation. Please do not take this responsibility lightly. We would strongly recommend that you come prepared to take and pass the test. Training to repeat and pass the test during internship can be very challenging. Based on current regulations, Army interns will not be able to progress to PGY2 unless they have passed an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Pending official review, Air Force interns are likely to be subject to an identical regulation and are strongly encouraged to prepare themselves accordingly.
  2. Air Force physical fitness testing includes weigh-in, waist measurement, sit-ups, push-ups, and a 1.5-mile run every 6 months. Details are available at http://www.afpc.af.mil/affitnessprogram/affitnessfaq.asp.
  3. Army physical fitness testing includes weigh-in, sit-ups, push-ups, and a 2-mile run every 6 months (usually around April and October at Ft. Sam Houston). Details are available at http://www.armyrotc.mtu.edu/Materials/APFT.pdf.

Q12. What is included in the definition of duty hours under the ACGME requirement “duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week.”?

A12. Duty hours according to the ACGME are defined as all clinical and academic activities related to the residency program. This includes inpatient and outpatient clinical care, in-house call, short call, night float and day float, transfer of patient care, and administrative activities related to patient care such as completing medical records, ordering and reviewing lab tests, and signing verbal orders. Currently, our program does not permit call from home. Therefore, only the hours spent in the hospital count toward the 80-hour weekly limit. What is not included in the duty hour’s definition is reading, studying, and academic preparation time, such as time spent away from patient care to prepare for morning report presentations, mortality and morbidity conference, or journal club. In short, our program adheres to the ACGME Duty hour guidelines which can be found and described at:

Q13. How do I get to SAMMC

A13.

  1. Directions and maps to SAMMC campus can be obtained opening the following link:
  2. Coming from I-10/El Paso (North West San Antonio): Take I-10 South merge onto NE I-410 Loop. After 10 miles I-410 will merge with I-35 South. Travel for another 3.5 miles and take Exit 162, Brooke Army Medical Center/Binz-Englemann Rd. At the end of the exit ramp turn right and enter the George C. Beach Ave Gate.
  3. Coming from I-10/Houston (South East San Antonio): Take I-10 North merge onto I-35 North. Travel for 10 miles and take Exit 162, Brooke Army Medical Center/Binz-Englemann Rd. At the end of the exit ramp turn left and enter the George C. Beach Ave Gate.
  4. Coming from San Antonio International Airport (North Central San Antonio): Take the exit Airport Blvd onto NE I-410 Loop. After 5 miles I-410 will merge with I-35 South. Travel for another 3.5 miles and take Exit 162, Brooke Army Medical Center/ Binz-Engleman Rd. At the end of the exit ramp turn right and enter the George C. Beach Ave Gate.

Q14. How do I get to Wilford Hall (WHASC)?

A14.

  1. Directions and maps to WHASC campus can be obtained opening the following link:
  2. There are four major roads that provide access to Lackland AFB: I-10/Hwy 90, Hwy 281, I-37, or I-35 and two main gates: The Gateway East Gate and Airman's Gate.
  3. Arriving from the east on I-10 or Hwy 90: Travel through San Antonio on I-10/Hwy 90 West and exit on Military Drive. Turn left and travel approximately one mile to the Gateway East gate which will be on your left.
  4. Arriving from the North on I-35, Hwy 281, or I-10:Travel onto Loop 410 West and take the Valley Hi / Lackland AFB Exit. Turn left on Valley Hi, and continue straight to the Airman's Gate.
  5. Arriving from the South on I-35 or I-37: Take Loop 410 West to the the Valley Hi / Lackland AFB exit. Turn right on Valley Hi, and continue straight to the Airman's Gate.