Message from the Chair
Welcome to our departmental website. Please browse our web pages and get to know our superb faculty, residents and staff. These are exciting times at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the only four year medical school on the US-Mexico border, the medical school received full accreditation from the LCME in February 2013 and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso became an independent health sciences center in May 2013 incorporating the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Institution is continuing to recruit high caliber medical educators, researchers and clinicians to meet the needs of our educational, research and clinical missions and to address the needs of our underserved, predominantly Hispanic border population.
In the Department of Family and Community Medicine, we are increasing the size of our faculty as we expand our clinical care operations, increasing our medical student teaching commitments and expanding our research collaborations. We have had a strong 8-8-8 fully accredited Family Medicine Residency Program in place for 40 years and also a superb ACGME accredited Sports Medicine fellowship in place since July 2011 with two fellows per year.
We have redesigned our main clinical site in northeast El Paso into a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. In March 2014, our Family Medicine Center received NCQA recognition as a PCMH. This is also the site at which all our residents have their continuity practice. Also, we have recently opened a clinic to serve the employees of the University of Texas at El Paso, and we will also be expanding our presence to a new medical office building and new hospital currently being built in northwest El Paso and which is expected to be ready in 2016.
Our clinical research program has a major focus on cancer prevention and control and our faculty are currently funded through the NIH, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the AAFP Foundation, The American Cancer Society and HRSA. Since 2011, the department has brought in almost $10 million in external funding. We will continue to focus on developing programs in cancer prevention and control to help improve the health of our border community and the nation.
The City of El Paso is a great place to live; it is nestled between the beautiful Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande and resides at the confluence of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. El Paso has been ranked as the safest mid-sized city in the United States and its residents enjoy a near perfect climate with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, numerous outdoor pursuits, as well as a vibrant city life at an affordable cost of living.
Dr. Gurjeet S. Shokar joined the Department as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine in March of 2010. Prior to his current appointment, he was at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) where he served as Professor of Family Medicine, University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor, and director of the medical student education programs for the Department of Family Medicine. He is a nationally recognized medical educator, an expert in web-based medical education, and has led the development of a multi-award winning web-based case development software.
He has also been the recipient of curriculum development awards at the regional and national level, as well as multiple teaching awards, culminating in his induction into the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers in 2007. In the past, he has chaired the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine national conference on medical student education, and served on national task forces that developed the first ever national Family Medicine clerkship curriculum and more recently the Leading Change Curriculum for Family Medicine faculty. He has remained active as a clinician and has been recognized continuously as one of the Best Doctors in America since 2005.
His academic interests include innovation in medical education, leadership training and faculty development. His clinical interests include wellness and health promotion. During his tenure as department chair, the department has started a fully accredited ACGME Sports Medicine fellowship, developed a very successful clinical research program, transitioned the main clinical practice site to an NCQA recognized PCMH, and increased both faculty academic productivity and faculty clinical productivity. The department faculty now also teaches extensively in all four years of the medical school curriculum.
Dr. Shokar grew up in England and completed medical school at Dayanand Medical College in India in 1988. He returned to England to complete residency training in Family Medicine, followed by a period of practice in Oxfordshire, England. He moved to the US in 1996 and underwent further residency training at St Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas. He is married with three children.