Internal Medicine Residency Program

Director's Message

The internal medicine training program at WBAMC is one of the best kept secrets in Army Medicine. We can promise you a great education because we have a lot to offer you. We are busy. We service a diverse ethnic population. We have no competing fellowships or primary care programs, so residents and students gain tremendous hands on experience. The majority of the R1’s are certified to perform invasive procedures unsupervised by the end of their first year. There is extraordinary interest in the training program from the hospital commander on down. You will not get lost in the crowd.

As for myself, I am a 2004 USUHS graduate. I originally trained at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Internal Medicine. After graduation, I was assigned as a staff Internist at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA. From there I also deployed to Iraq for 12 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) as a cavalry squadron surgeon. It was at Eisenhower that I solidified my interest and clinical skills in general internal medicine and became more involved in undergraduate and graduate medical education. In July 2013, I took over as the Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at WBAMC. I have learned a lot since residency and continue to learn everyday and enjoy sharing that enthusiasm with our residents.

Another unique aspect of our program is that we also accept civilian residents. The VA sponsors eight to nine positions, divided among the three training years. The VA residents must be US citizens, but incur no obligation to the military or to the VA. It has been a rewarding relationship with the VA and provides our medical center with an expanded patient base. This is also an ideal solution for dual physician couples where one is military and the other is not.

Research, presentation, and publication opportunities abound. The majority of our residents each year participate in the Army Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) meeting and in our local Far Northwest Texas ACP Associates Clinical Vignette Competition. Over half of our residents in one year had review articles published in the El Paso Physician, the official publication of the El Paso County Medical Society.

El Paso is a great city – fantastic weather, affordable housing, low-crime rate (consistently in the top 3 of safest large cites (population >500,000) in the US since 1997), blue-ribbon schools, professional sports, year-round golf, arts, music and culture. New Mexico is minutes away and within a 2-hour drive, you can be skiing in the mountains. Come check out what we have to offer in sunny El Paso, TX.

Medicine is a great profession that rewards curiosity and love of learning. The general internist is what I think of as a true physician. An internist is well suited to figure out the diagnostic puzzle by putting all the pieces together in a way that makes sense by using the knowledge that we learned in medical school and built upon and polished in residency. I feel like my training and experience has allowed me to answer questions that range from something as simple to one regarding a rash that a friend or neighbor has to being able to take care of critically ill patients in the hospital that would die if not for an intervention that I provide.

My training philosophy is to train great clinicians who have the skills to continue to improve after they graduate. I want the graduating resident to have the knowledge and clinical attributes to where I would be comfortable having them take care of myself or my family members. WBAMC residents should be confident that they will pass the ABIM board exam on their first try. I will work hard to ensure that all of my residents achieve their learning and career goals. As a team, we will provide the best possible medical care to patients, learn together, and reach our goals.

Erik Manninen, MD, FACP
Program Director, Internal Medicine, WBAMC