HCA Midwest Health
October 13, 2022

With new CV Fellowship program and more than 155 residents ranging from family physicians to orthopedics and obstetrics, attracting and retaining talent to deliver a lifetime of high-quality, compassionate healthcare is integral to expanding access to patient care and improving a community’s overall health

Overland Park, KS – Earlier this year, HCA Midwest Health’s parent company, HCA Healthcare, announced that it offered 1,867 positions across the country for its 2022 graduate medical education (GME) programs. As the nation’s leading provider of quality, patient-centered care, HCA Healthcare is also the largest sponsor of graduate medical education programs.

HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider, introduced a three-year GME program at Lee’s Summit Medical Center/Lee’s Summit Family Medicine, accepting its first class of residents on July 1. Granted accreditation last spring by The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, the program will give physicians academic training and hands-on experience as they start their careers. Six residents will be selected each year for a total of 18 by its third year.

From the moment a graduate joins an HCA Healthcare residency or fellowship like Lee’s Summit Medical Center’s GME program, they are mentored by a dynamic network of physicians focused on teaching them exceptional, compassionate patient care. Led by an accomplished faculty and set under rigorous standards, the programs are tailored to provide extensive training for the next generation of physician leaders and further address the shortage of primary care physicians.

HCA Midwest Health Vice President, Graduate Medical Education, Sabesan “Saby” Karuppiah, MD, MPH, FAAFP, lauds HCA Healthcare’s longstanding commitment to graduate medical education.

“More than 300 residency and fellowship programs in 16 states are sponsored by HCA Healthcare,” says Dr. Karuppiah. “As part of HCA Midwest Health, Lee’s Summit Medical Center has direct access to a strong infrastructure necessary to facilitate a program in the Kansas City area. This year also marks the beginning of our new Cardiovascular Fellowship, with three new CV Fellows joining the health system.”

More than 40 residents started the GME program in July at HCA Midwest Health, include 12 internal medicine, five obstetrics, five general surgery,14 family medicine, and four orthopedic residents. A new cardiovascular Fellows program has three cardiovascular residents and Lee’s Summit Medical Center will introduce another GME program in family medicine with six family physician residents and a new Fellowship for bariatrics residents.

A three-year residency is a critical component of a physician’s career path and Lee’s Summit Family Medicine Residency Program Director Lawrence Gibbs, MD, MSEd, FAAFP, a Board-certified family medicine physician, notes that the GME program “allows our trained medical staff to help prepare physicians to provide comprehensive medical care to patients across their lifespan, an essential element of family medicine training.”

CV Fellow Dr. Drew Thomas: As an EMT, found passion for being on frontline of saving patient lives

Hailing from Hays, Kan., Drew Thomas attended undergraduate studies at Fort Hays State University where he enrolled in EMT classes. “I knew in high school I wanted to be a doctor but wasn’t sure in what area,” says Dr. Thomas, who applied for medical school after graduating college. “While studying and working part-time as an EMT, I developed a passion for interpreting EKG’s and ‘running’ code blues to help save patient lives.”

Dr. Thomas, who was accepted at Kansas City University (KCU) — one of the country’s original osteopathic medicine schools — felt a strong calling to making a big impact in a patient’s life-or death moment.

“While at KCU I learned a lot about emergency medicine, and thought I wanted to do that,” he says, “but discovered I was drawn to internal medicine. With my EMT background, I had the exposure of the acuity of cardiology, which piqued my curiosity. And with cardiology, unlike emergency medicine, I have opportunity to have a closer, long-term relationship with my patients and that’s really meaningful to me.”

Dr. Thomas and his wife, who he met during medical school, stayed in Kansas City and applied for positions at HCA Midwest Health. He did an internal medicine residency for 3 years and then did a fellowship-oriented program with cardiologists for mentorship and advanced cardiac imaging training. He applied to the Cardiovascular fellowship.

“It’s been an incredible experience, starting with reading echocardiogram results, then doing rounds and finally cardiology consults at Overland Park Regional Medical Center with respected interventional and non-interventional physicians,” says the first-generation physician, who is now learning everything about heart catheters.

While Dr. Thomas admits that navigating the journey to becoming a physician can be daunting, he encourages those thinking about pursuing medicine to consider the rewards.

“The GME programs have allowed me to see the entire system, from internal medicine to cardiology, and the extraordinary impact you can make on patient care and patients’ lives,” he says. “It’s beyond fulfilling.”