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). 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 8:00 – 8:45 am Monday-Friday
  2. Conference 1:00 pm-4:00 pm Tuesday
  3. Grand Rounds 12:00 noon Fridays

Q3. What is the call schedule for wards?

A3.

  • Call days vary throughout the month but average of 2 Call days per week. All call days are followed by a post-call day.
  • Call is 12 hours (7am-7pm)
  • On non-call days teams may take between 0 and 5 patients according to a tiered system of assigning patients admitted overnight to the teams.

Q4. Where do we do rotations?

A4. During residency you will do rotations at a variety of facilities in San Antonio. 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. First and Second year residents will rotate at University Hospital for one month to see a more 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 academic year is divided into 13 blocks of 4 weeks.

Interns (Post-Graduate Year [PGY] 1 residents) will have a schedule consisting of the following:

  • SAMMC Wards
  • University Hospital Wards
  • SAMMC Wards Night Float
  • Research Block - Ambulatory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Cardiology ICU
  • Medical ICU x1 block
  • Emergency Medicine

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 around San Antonio. With the new construction and renovation of Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, what is now called SAMMC (San Antonio Military Medical Center) has added 750,000 square feet and expanded from 275 beds to approximately 425. SAMMC is one of the largest and most state-of-the-art military medical facilities in the DoD with ability to provide level I trauma/emergency medical care and inpatient medical care.

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, transfers of care, and administrative activities related to patient care such as completing medical records, ordering and reviewing lab tests, and signing verbal orders. Currently, our residents do not perform home call. 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, conferences, or journal club. In short, our program adheres to the ACGME Duty hour guidelines which can be found and described at the ACGME website.

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.