Health Professionals at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Ctr.  

August 6: Guest blog by
Dr. Natasha Bhuyan

Steve Narang photo  

Did you know that Banner Good Samaritan was ranked in the top 20 nationally in 2012 in the number of primary care graduates?

As we move toward a more value-based system where we are accountable for the health of a population, we need to be able to train and recruit the best primary care physicians.

Fortunately, at Banner Good Sam, we already have an excellent Family Medicine Program. A team led by Dr. Steven Brown trains eight residents a year who come from all over the country.

As we talk about the Possibilities of being national leaders in the area of Primary Care, I would like to introduce you to the words of our Family Medicine Program Director, Dr. Brown, in a separate post, and resident Dr. Bhuyan, below. Let’s listen to their stories of how they contribute to the vision of Banner Good Sam every day ...

Steve Narang, MD, is the chief executive officer at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.


Caring for the Individual and the Community
By Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, Family Medicine Resident

Natasha Bhuyan photoFamily medicine doctors have the ability to improve more than just health outcomes; they can change lives. At Banner Good Samaritan, family and community medicine is emphasized. Not only do we provide full-spectrum care for the individual, but we must also recognize the impact of health on our community. 

This past weekend, I was in Kansas City at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference with more than 300 family medicine programs across the U.S. The conference made me reflect on my intern year and why I chose the Banner Good Samaritan Family Medicine Residency Program. This past year has been rich with experiences that reaffirmed my passion for family medicine at Banner.


Our program values leadership as a means to have a lasting impact on health care; as a result, our residents are leaders in the medical community locally and nationally. I serve as the resident representative to the national Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors. The resident delegate to the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians (AzAFP) is from Banner, while other residents are active on the AzAFP Legislative Task Force. We also have a resident serving on the national AAFP Commission on Governmental Advocacy. During my intern year, I had the opportunity to write for Primary Care Progress, a non-profit aimed at revitalizing primary care. One of my posts was featured in KevinMD. These collective leadership experiences have strengthened our skills in making system changes.

Innovative health care delivery

Our clinic undergoes regular quality analysis and improvement projects, often done by residents. Projects this year have included optimizing care for patients with diabetes, performing frenulectomys to improve breastfeeding outcomes, decreasing ED visits related to chronic pain and reforming workflow.

Our residency values patient-centered care as a means to enhance patient safety, minimize risks and reduce costs. Beyond our electronic medical records, comprehensive safety programs, and sessions at the simulation center, we engage patients in the process through our Patient Advisory Group. These steps are part of our clinic becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home. In order to continue the momentum of this movement, our residents and faculty will continue to lead the discussion about how the PCMH model will be the foundation of Accountable Care Organizations.

Education and research

I am proud of our rigorous academic calendar, which includes daily lunch talks and a monthly board-review curriculum. Residents are in charge of evidence-based talks, journal clubs and M&M conferences. We also work closely with medical students to challenge our own learning.

The academic nature of our program fosters noteworthy research. Every year, we have resident presenters at the AAFP Scientific Assembly, Society for Teachers of Family Medicine Spring Conference and Academic Excellence Day at the University of Arizona.


Despite the importance of physicians providing a leading voice in advocating for our patients, many are still reluctant to do so. At Banner Good Samaritan, our training emphasizes medical knowledge, clinical decision-making and advocating for our patients – both inside and outside of the medical setting.

This past spring, a few of our residents had the opportunity to speak with representatives on Capitol Hill at the Family Medicine Congressional Conference. We shared our experiences caring for underserved patients and the central role of primary care in health care cost reduction. Sen. Jeff Flake’s staff agreed that soaring costs in health care could, in part, be addressed by strengthening primary care. We also discussed the National Health Service Corps, which alleviates student loan debt for primary care physicians in medically underserved areas. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema was excited about working with us in the future. Despite the hyper-partisan nature of politics, it was refreshing and inspiring to reach out to individuals with diverse beliefs, embrace our common goals, and work toward solutions to better serve our patients.

At the Protecting Children and Families from Tobacco: Leadership Advocacy Training in April, I connected with legislators to initiate policy changes in reducing deaths from tobacco. I’m grateful that Banner is already a smoke-free campus and our program leads in AshLine referrals.

Quality patient care

The heart of our residency is quality patient care – driven by active learning, compassion, evidenced-based decision making and meaningful connections with patients. We practice in a variety of settings including ambulatory, inpatient, long-term care facilities, and home visits. Around the hospital, many Good Samaritan employees recognize our family medicine residents are part of their care teams – whether on ob/gyn, neurology, ED, surgery, internal medicine, or radiology.

Our residents actively seek ways to serve the greater community outside of our clinic. For example, last month we volunteered at the City of Phoenix Back to School and Health Fair, attended by more than 12,000 people. We also are the physicians for a number of high school sports teams in Phoenix.

It is for our patients that, at Banner Good Samaritan, we always strive beyond our best.

Natasha Bhuyan, MD, is a second-year resident at the Banner Good Samaritan Family Medicine Residency Program. She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center
1111 E. McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 839-2000
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