Department of Family and Community Medicine

Peter Catinella, M.D.

Welcome to the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Please browse our webpages and get to know our distinguished faculty, residents, and staff. The department is situated 10 miles from the main Alberta campus in north east El Paso, and its educational offerings consist of a long standing family medicine residency program, a primary care sports medicine fellowship, the third year family medicine clerkship, as well as family medicine Selectives and electives for medical students. The department also houses an outstanding clinical research program and a family medicine clinic that provides accessible and comprehensive care to the community.

These are exciting times for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM), the first four-year medical school on the U.S.-Mexico border. In February 2013, the PLFSOM received full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). In May of the same year, the Texas Tech University School of Medicine in El Paso (now TTUHSC El Paso) incorporated the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and became a full-fledged independent health sciences center. Later, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences was added, and now TTUHSC El Paso welcomes its fourth school, the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine. The institution continues to recruit the highest caliber of medical educators, researchers, and clinicians to achieve its educational, research, and clinical missions, and to address the needs of the historically underserved border population.

In the Department of Family and Community Medicine, we are increasing the size of our faculty to meet the needs of our medical student teaching programs, our two graduate medical education programs and our expanding research programs. We have an established, fully accredited family medicine residency program (with a total of 24 residents). The program has been in place for more than 40 years, with our residents achieving very impressive pass rates on the American Board of Family Medicine’s certification exam. In 2011, the department also began offering a sports medicine fellowship, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and accepts two fellows per year.

Our clinical research program has a major focus on cancer prevention and control. Our faculty research has been funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), among others. Since 2011, the department has brought in over $23 million dollars in external funding for its clinical and educational research programs. We will continue to focus on developing programs for cancer prevention and control, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of our border community.

The city of El Paso is a great place to live; it is nestled between the beautiful Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande and rests at the confluence of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Its residents enjoy a near perfect climate with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, numerous outdoor pursuits, as well as a vibrant city life at an affordable cost of living. El Paso has been ranked by CQ Press as the safest city in the nation with a population above 500,000 for a number of years, and as of June 2016, El Paso is ranked among the 10 best cities in the nation for quality of life by the U.S. News and World Report.