Today El Rio Community Health Center is helping to create a new model of medical education in what is known as a Teaching Health Center. This concept emphasizes multidisciplinary, inter-professional educational opportunities within community health centers. This allows students and residents with a passion for community medicine to obtain their training directly within the community health center environment.
El Rio provides direct training programs for medical and dental students as well as residency training in family medicine, clinical pharmacy, general dentistry and pediatric dentistry. Dr. Doug Spegman, El Rio’s chief clinical officer, said “These residencies provide traditional clinical training in acute and chronic care management and also emphasize preventive care and wellness. This includes a comprehensive approach to understanding healthcare disparities and social determinants to health that are often overlooked barriers to care and patient wellness.”