Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Dr. Jake Kaiser grew up knowing his calling in life.
"I was always interested in science and biology and always knew I wanted to be a pediatrician," Dr. Kaiser said.
So, it was no surprise when immediately after attending Midwestern State University, Dr. Kaiser enrolled in medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. But it wasn't until residency at Texas Tech Pediatrics in Lubbock, Texas that he heard of the program offered by United Regional: Future in the Falls.
In 2008, United Regional launched an innovative physician recruitment program that evolved from a conversation between Phyllis Cowling, President and CEO of United Regional, and Dr. David Flack, a staff pathologist and father of a medical student. Both agreed that individuals who are already familiar with the Wichita Falls community could well be ideal candidates to help build the next generation of local physicians. So began the Future in the Falls program.
The Future in the Falls program reaches out to medical students, residents and colleagues who have ties to Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. The goal of the program is to recruit them to join our medical community. Hospital administration and members of the physician staff regularly communicate with program participants to provide support and guidance as they progress in their medical education. It is also worth mentioning that since the establishment of a Future in the Falls Scholarship Fund in 2009, there have been a total of 17 scholarships awarded.
"In addition to a stipend, which was very helpful during residency, the Future in the Falls program allowed me to meet local doctors with whom I would be working," Dr. Kaiser said. "They set up interviews at different clinics, and provided a way to network with local physicians. They also provided a good basis on what I should be looking for in a job, which isn't taught in medical school."
Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Kaiser made the decision to move back home to Wichita Falls and join the practice he had come to know so well through his long-standing connection with Dr. Terry Johnson at Pediatric Associates.
"My wife, Angela, and I chose Pediatric Associates mostly because I've known Dr. Johnson for many years, and, being a hometown boy, I know Wichita Falls is a great place to raise a family," said Kaiser, father of two and a half year old son, Jonah, and daughter to arrive in August.
"I would absolutely recommend Future in the Falls to any med student," Kaiser encourages. "Not only can it help financially while going through training, it also plugs you in to a community of physicians long before you start working. It lets you see the light at the end of the tunnel, which can be difficult to remember while in medical school and residency."