Resident Physicians Add to Patient Care

residency-class380-with-captionCall it a double dose of healthcare.

Christopher da Fonseca, M.D., is a member of the first class of medical residents now seeing patients at West Kendall Baptist Hospital’s Family Medicine Center.

He has graduated from medical school and is licensed to practice medicine. The only difference between residents, like Dr. da Fonseca, and non-residents, like the doctors who oversee him, is patient-care experience. That’s what he and three other residents are gaining under the three-year residency program that recently started at West Kendall Baptist Hospital.

The added bonus for patients: at least two physicians looking out for them.

“Patients are more than happy to help out and have us be part of their care, and they want to help residents establish their own experience,” said Dr. da Fonseca, a graduate of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Patients appreciate the learning environment and what amounts to broader healthcare supervision,” said David Brown, M.D., director of the West Kendall Baptist Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program and chair of the Family Medicine Department. “When they go to the family practice, they see the residents.They will be participating in the training of the residents. They’ll get two for one – the resident physician and the physicians supervising the care.”

That supervision comes from Agueda Hernandez, M.D., the medical director of the Family Medicine Center, and family practice physician Manuel Torres, M.D.

“Clinical care is a key aspect of the residents’ training,” Dr. Brown said. “This training will encompass management of acute and chronic conditions in adults and children, women’s health, sports medicine, health promotion and disease prevention.”

Dr. da Fonseca and his fellow residents were all drawn to family medicine or primary care. The learning experience is broad and deep, often covering conditions and diseases spanning generations.
“You get to see a variety of patients and treat many different conditions,” Dr. da Fonseca said. “You get to treat the whole family — mom, dad and child.”

The new Family Medicine Center serves as the primary outpatient training ground for the residency program, which will eventually accommodate 12 residents over three years.

The first class of residents represents a range of backgrounds and experience that “make them well-suited to provide compassionate, patient- and family-centered care for our diverse community,” said Dr. Hernandez.

Joining Dr. da Fonseca as the first class of residents are Michelle DeFreitas, M.D., who received her medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman; Wendy Marquina, M.D., who earned a medical degree with honors from the University of Science, Arts & Technology in Olveston Montserrat, British West Indies; and Aniel Navarro Marin, M.D., who joins West Kendall Baptist Hospital from the Instituto Superior de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara in Cuba.

Family doctors typically have a broad knowledge of medicine, said Dr. Torres.

“Your family doctor can act as the quarterback of your healthcare, helping to inform and direct your medical team of experts,” Dr. Torres said. “They treat all areas of the body and provide healthcare to people of all ages. Family doctors look at their patients not only as individuals but in the context of their families and communities.”

Dr. da Fonseca and his colleagues look forward to their futures treating the patients of South Florida.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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