San Antonio has become one of the leading health care destinations in the nation, and as the military trims the number of medical personnel in the region, local medical facilities are hoping the doctors, nurses and other trained personnel who have made the region a center for military medical expertise opt to stay in the city to treat civilians.
“It is a great place to transition, because you have a center of clinical excellence at the U.T. Health Science Center, and a fantastic infrastructure, and a huge part of the local economy being focused on health care,” Bruce Jennings, who heads the Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians Group, told News Radio 1200 WOAI. He said there is no better place for retiring military medical personnel to make their civilian careers.
As a result of BRAC 2005, DOD consolidated training for medics in San Antonio and created the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) on Fort Sam Houston. Other clinics, such as the Center for the Intrepid, along with the infrastructure created by the Fisher Houses and Veterans Affairs facilities have made the city a leader in all types of medicine, including trauma care.
Keeping highly skilled medical professionals now working at San Antonio installations in the region would bolster the city’s economy and help ensure the city remains a leader in health care, Jennings said.
“As military physicians transition out of the military, finish their commitment or retire, and are looking for opportunities in emergency medicine, we often have been very successful in recruiting those professionals from SAMMC,” said Jennings, an Iraq war veteran.