HGH, UNLV Residency Program Honors Graduating Physicians

The University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine – Humboldt General Hospital Rural Family Medicine Residency Program recently graduated its fourth class of fully trained family medicine physicians.

The June 26 graduation marked the culmination of a three-year training program for Dr. Hind Elsanousy and Dr. David Masuck, and a successful endeavor by HGH to improve access to primary care in the region.

As part of the program, the two doctors completed rotations in emergency medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, cardiology, surgery, orthopedics, geriatrics and community medicine.

Additionally, they saw their own patients in Humboldt General Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Clinic, offering a full spectrum of family care, from prenatal to end of life.

Dr. Elsanousy will now pursue an OB Fellowship, while Dr. Masuck has accepted a position at Humboldt General Hospital as a family practice physician beginning August 1.

Residency is a stage of graduate medical training where new physicians practice medicine under the direct and indirect supervision of an attending physician; successful completion of a residency program is a requirement for obtaining a medical license.

During the June 26 graduation ceremony, Elissa Palmer, MD, FAAFP, Professor and Chair of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine, said the UNLV-HGH partnership has graduated seven Resident Physicians to date, but she continues to marvel at what it took to arrive at this point.

“This is a celebration of a truly amazing process,” she said. “Despite many obstacles, we never gave up.”

Dr. Palmer said the Nevada Office of Rural Health set its sights on a residency program in 1989; the program did not see its first graduate until 2017, but Dr. Palmer said the process has continued to thrill her. “This program is very near and dear to my heart.”

Aron Rogers, DO, Associate Professor and Program Director for the Rural Family Medicine Residency, shared his “bittersweet” feelings at celebrating the accomplishments of the two new graduates—and now having to “send them off into the world.”

“Today is a celebration of your hard work and commitment to practicing family medicine,” Dr. Rogers told the graduates. “It’s been a pleasure working with both of you; you’re going to do wonderful things.”

Humboldt County Hospital District Board of Trustees Chairman JoAnn Casalez said the collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine has meant many things for the Humboldt County community, including increased access to healthcare, increased academic standards and more practice choices.

Perhaps the best aspect of the collaboration, said Casalez, is that HGH helps train and educate up-and-coming physicians, who are then able to share that knowledge with the nation, and perhaps someday the world.

“Truly, we understand at a very personal level how relevant it is that the Greek word for doctor means ‘teacher,’” she said.

Even as Dr. Elsanousy and Dr. Masuck move on to their future roles, Casalez said, “We wish to remind them that they will always be part of the HGH Team: valuable and memorable partners in showing compassion, sharing knowledge and providing exceptional patient care.”

The rural residency program was founded with parts of multiple federally funded grants. The physicians spend Year 1 with the Department of Family Medicine in Las Vegas and then Years 2 and 3 in Winnemucca under the supervision of attending physician, Dr. Robert Westling, at the HGH Family Medicine Residency Clinic.

Dr. Yatin Dhir and Dr. Joseph Ricioli are now the program’s chief residents; Dr. Trenton Argyle and Dr. Samuel Gong recently arrived in Winnemucca as the program’s new Year 2 residents.