It is a familiar scene on any medical TV drama. A lead physician enters a patient’s room and asks a group of trainees — medical students, residents and sometimes fellows — to answer questions about that patient’s health status. At Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, the lead physician and medical students play the starring roles, enabling a one-on-one exchange that sharpens clinical care skills earlier in the medical students’ careers.
“By becoming a teaching hospital, we have opened the doors to new ideas and innovation,” says Keith Barber, CEO of Houston Methodist Willowbrook and senior vice president of Houston Methodist. “We are also instilling the patient-centered, service-oriented values of Houston Methodist in the next generation of health care professionals.”
The hospital began partnering with Texas A&M University School of Medicine in 2020 to offer third- and fourth-year medical students access to a diverse array of real-world clinical experiences. Third-year medical students participate in seven clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, OB-GYN, surgery, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Fourth-year medical students choose their rotations.
As part of their training, the medical students may also participate in research with talented clinician-scientists and researchers across Houston Methodist. They can then present their findings at various Houston Methodist and national medical conferences.
To provide the margin of excellence needed to support these aspiring medical doctors of the future, the Caldwell Family Foundation generously established the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Medical Training and Education Fund.
Susan and Fred Caldwell share a vision for developing academic medicine programs in their community. This fund offers a unique opportunity for supporters to participate in Houston Methodist Willowbrook’s growth as a premier teaching hospital for future medical students, residents and fellows — bringing some of the most promising young medical minds to the North Houston region.
“When you provide financial support to an institution, it is really a function of trust,” explains Fred. “We truly trust in Houston Methodist, and we have great passion for Texas A&M. We love the idea that Aggie medical students can tie into the Houston Methodist culture and expertise.”
The Caldwells say they feel this is an ideal giving opportunity because it offers a chance to not only make a transformational gift but also support an academic medical center that inspires confidence and hope because of strong leadership and culture.
“It is easy to support institutions that stand for excellence, live by faith-based values and provide great leadership,” says Susan. She explains that their gift is both an investment in the neighborhoods they call home and a perfect illustration of the mission behind their family’s foundation.
“I always think about why it is that God put us here on earth. Ultimately, it is to help people,” adds Fred.
With deep appreciation to the Caldwells for outstanding support