Keesler Air Force Base is home to Keesler Medical Center, a busy 60 bed hospital that cares for active duty service members and their families, retired service members and VA patients. The internal medicine residency is a three-year program that provides training in inpatient medicine, ambulatory medicine and preventative care. Our program has training affiliations with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Gulfport Memorial Hospital and the Singing River Hospital system. Upon graduation, Keesler residents are board eligible, internal medicine physicians and many go on to subspecialties to include pulmonary critical care, cardiology, nephrology and hematology/oncology.
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The hospital has approximately 60 beds (10ICU beds and 50 medical/surgical beds). The Medicine curriculum is augmented with rotations at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Cardiology, ICU and Hematology/Oncology), Gulfport Memorial (ER), and Ocean Springs/Singing River Hospital Systems (ICU and Hospitalist). Moreover, we offer a wards rotation at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Germany) in the third year of residency.
Keesler is an unopposed residency program meaning that there are no fellowships or other residency programs (except for surgery) that will compete for procedures or one-on-one training with our specialists. This will allow a personalized attention to your education.
A great majority of the intern class is signed off on procedures to include thoracentesis, paracentesis, arterial lines, and central venous catheter placement by the end of their first year.
Keesler is a smaller program so you won’t be “just another resident”. As there are no fellowships at Keesler, you have direct access to subspecialists who are current in their respective fields. Most attendings have an “open door policy” and are willing to answer questions as they arise.
The program has excellent didactics to include morning report (a lecture by the chief resident highlighting interesting cases) and noon conference. Noon conference occurs most weekdays and is led by either a subspecialist or a staff internist. Topics include high yield board material, practical approaches to common medical ailments, evidence based medicine discussions, and more.
Recent years have yielded a high selection for fellowship training including an overall 97% board pass rate in the last 4 years (2014-2018). Our program has also received recognition as a 2018 American College of Physicians Elite Residency Program. This is amongst all residency programs in the country. Keesler’s residents have been successfully selected for fellowships to include: Hematology/Oncology, Pulmonary Critical Care, Nephrology, Gastroententerology, Rheumatology Allergy and Immunology, Cardiology, and Genetics.
The Air Force will provide lodging at the Tyre House (base hotel) during your month at Keesler. Lodging cost is reimbursed. The hotel is located one block from the hospital and is an easy walk.
Visit the DoD Lodging site for more details.
Yes, if you are HPSP. HPSP students are provided a rental car for the month and is reimbursed by the AF upon completion of the month.
USUHS students are not always provided a rental car and it is up to the clinical coordinator/school to decide as to whether or not one will be provided.
Keesler has all of the medicine subspecialties.
The only services that are not available are cardiothoracic surgery and Neurosurgery but several hospitals in the immediate vicinity have these capabilities.
Residents will receive detailed instruction and supervision to be successfully signed off on procedures that will enhance their skill set as future Air Force physicians. Upon completion of residency, residents are expected to: intubate in a code situation, place arterial and central venous catheters, perform diagnostic and therapeutic thoracentesis as well as paracentesis, and complete lumbar punctures. Residents will also receive the opportunity to perform pelvic exams, review urine microscopy, and feel confident in evaluating peripheral smears/EKGs/ABGs.
During PGY-1, resident will go to University of Mississippi Medical Center at Jackson MS for an ICU rotation and a Cardiology rotation. Lodging is provided.
PGY-2 residents will go to Gulfport MS for an ER rotation (approximately 10 miles from Biloxi) and Jackson MS for an ICU and Hematology/oncology rotation. Residents will also perform a hospitalist rotation at one of two local hospitals-either Ocean Springs or Singing River Hospital (Pascagoula).
PGY-3 residents will go to Ocean Springs Hospital for an ICU rotation and Hospitalist rotation (Pascagoula/Ocean Springs). Additionally, residents will be afforded the opportunity to go to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, for a wards rotation.
To assist with application to fellowship programs, 3rd year residents will have the opportunity to set up elective rotations at SAMMC or other locations at their discretion and approval by the program director.
ACGME restricts interns to working 80 hours or less in a given week and Keesler enforces a strict adherence to this policy. (see link for ACGME guidelines) During wards months a typical intern will work between 60-80hrs on average.
How much vacation will I get as a resident?
PGY-1s can take 2 weeks of leave
PGY-2s can take one month of leave
PGY-3s can take one month of leave
Weekends and holidays are not included unless the resident is leaving town
There are many locations on base and at the hospital to eat breakfast or lunch. KMC has a cafeteria open from 0600-0800hrs during the week for breakfast and 1130-1230hrs for lunch. Alternatively, there is a mini-market open 24 hours that serves snacks/frozen dinners/quick meals. In the hospital, there is a Subway open every weekday from 0700-1500hrs. There is also a coffee shop on the ground-level floor that serves fresh coffee, muffins, pastries, and other snack foods.
Residents are provided their own desk and computer. A new residency collaboration area has been built which features a kitchen, break area/lounge, personal lockers, showers and each desk is equipped with personal storage space and shelving. We also have a residency wellness lounge that features a TV, an elliptical, and comfortable couches.
Yes, two call rooms are available for night medicine. Clean bedding is provided daily and there are showers available in the call rooms.
Questions will be directed to the Attending of Record, Chief Medical Resident, Program Director and Associate Program Directors as available, and in real-time
IM Residency goals and objectives for promotion by trainee skill level
Keesler Inpatient Medicine
Keesler Elective Rotation
Keesler Night Medicine
Singing River Hospital - Hospitalist
Singing River Hospital - ICU
Internal Medicine Program Director
Col. Wayne Latack, MD, FACP, FACN
Internal Medicine Coordinator
Chief of Residents
Capt. Jacob Bessler, Internal Medicine
Capt. Joseph Cook, Internal Medicine
Associate Program Directors
Lt. Col. Wassem Juakiem,
Lt. Col. Blake Elkins, Endocrinology
Maj. Joshua Tate, Endocrinology
Capt. Nicholas Keaton, Internal Medicine
The 81st Medical Group operates one of the largest Air Force medical facilities in the Air Force. Its primary mission is to maintain medical readiness for worldwide contingencies by providing quality, cost-effective health care for more than 27,000 enrollees, including almost 7,500 active-duty members. In addition, the 81st MDG commander oversees the Gulf Coast Multi-Service Market, which includes five military medical treatment facilities from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans, coordinating care for 80,000 eligible beneficiaries along the Gulf Coast.
Click for more information about the 81st MDG