The Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, through Texas Tech Physicians, operates medical clinics across not just Lubbock, but also West Texas.
Texas Tech Physicians has the largest practice in West Texas. Lubbock is home to the most clinics and 15 fields of medicine, according to the website.
J. Matthew Driskill, the chief innovations officer for Texas Tech Physicians and senior clinical department administrator for the departments of surgery and otolaryngology, said the clinics employ 200 physicians and 800 staff members.
“I have, between my two departments, 22 faculty members,” Driskill said, “and so that gives you an idea. One has four, and the other has 17 or 18.”
Driskill said his responsibilities as a department administrator include maintaining the relationship with the School of Medicine and facilitating aspects such as clinical care, learner education and research. His responsibilities as innovations officer include budgeting, hospital relations and overseeing clinical operations.
Dr. Richard Lampe, the chairman for the Department of Pediatrics, said there were seven pediatric clinics as part of Texas Tech Physicians, with six being in Lubbock.
“We have really good pediatricians in all of the sites,” Lampe said, “and pediatric subspecialists in all of the sites, and all of the sites at times may have, depending on the schedules, may have what we call ‘learners’ with them, either medical students or sometimes pediatric residents.”
Lampe said he occasionally fills in at the Raider Clinic during vacations. Raider Clinic is exclusive for pediatric residents and patients.
Driskill said there are around 130 medical students involved with the clinics. When these students finish medical school, they spend an additional three to four years in a residency related to their specialty or subspecialty, before moving on to a 1- to 2- year fellowship.
“It becomes a very significant commitment by our learners before they can get out,” Driskill said.
Regardless of the needs of the patients, the clinics’ goal is to provide high-quality health care and reach the best possible outcome with empathy and compassion for patients, Driskill said.
Because the clinics help students learn and gain real-world experience, Lampe said, the clinics have various subspecialty clinics for pediatrics alone, including clinics for neurology and infectious disease.
Lampe said there is one clinic called Center for Superheroes that serves children with adverse childhood events.
“One of the things about the value of the Health Sciences Center,” Lampe said. “Tt’s not just people who are thinking about doctors. It is people in the other allied health professions: nursing, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, even laboratory medicine. There’s just lots of opportunities for inter-professional experience.”
Driskill said he is most proud of the clinics’ quality of care and the teaching environment.
“They’re learning how to care for patients,” Driskill said, “but because we have such really good faculty, they know how to work with our learners and to help them to glean some of that knowledge and some of the things that they have learned over the years.”