Tidelands group shot

Pictured, starting in the front row, from left to right, are: Dr. Christine Greipp, Dr. Vasudha Jain, Dr. Sean Nguyen, Dr. Heber Watson, Dr. Justin Katz, Dr. Michael Ouzts, Dr. Ben Berteau and Dr. Anthony Germinario.

A new program to train family physicians has marked a milestone by welcoming its first class of residents.

The eight-member charter class of the Tidelands Health MUSC Family Medicine Residency Program is a diverse group of physicians from across the country. The new physicians began training July 3 and will participate in three years of hands-on learning under the supervision of experienced physicians from Tidelands Health and the Medical University of South Carolina.

The goal of the program is to help attract new doctors to the area because physicians tend to remain in the communities where they complete their residency. The program is part of a broader initiative within Tidelands Health to respond to the region’s rapid population growth.

“Attracting new physicians is a critical part of helping ensure the Tidelands region has access to high-quality medical care,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “We’re excited to welcome the first class of residents and look forward to the positive impact they will have on our community.”

The new residency program was developed with support from MUSC, which is providing curriculum and some faculty. Tidelands Health physicians also serve as faculty members.

The program offers residents broad-based training in family medicine with an emphasis on leadership and work-life balance. Over the next two years, the program will grow to its full complement of 24 residents with the addition of two more classes of eight students.

The resident physicians will see patients in a traditional family medicine practice setting, with the care provided in tandem with experienced faculty physicians. The new practice, called Tidelands Health Family Medicine, will begin accepting new patients this fall when the new Tidelands Health Medical Park at Holmestown Road opens in Myrtle Beach.

“The residency program will provide an immediate improvement to the accessibility and quality of care within the region,” Bailey said. “Each patient will benefit from the expertise of two physicians — the resident physician and a physician faculty member.”

The new residency program is one of many ways that Tidelands Health is responding to the region’s growth.

Other examples include the planned construction of Tidelands Health Medical Park at The Market Common, a 65,000-square-foot medical facility in Horry County. The new location will be home to a wide variety of services, including physician offices, physical therapy, imaging, pain management, laboratory and more.

In addition, Tidelands Health has announced plans to partner with HealthSouth Corp. for the construction of a new, 46-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Little River.

The new residents are: Dr. Ben Berteau, Ross University School of Medicine; Dr. Anthony Germinario, St. George’s University School of Medicine; Dr. Christine Greipp, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine; Dr. Vasudha Jain, Ross University School of Medicine; Dr. Justin Katz, American University of Antigua College of Medicine; Dr. Sean Nguyen, Medical University of South Carolina; Dr. Michael Ouzts, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine; and Dr. Heber Watson, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.