Source: Orlando Sentinel, Naseem Miller
University of Central Florida College of Medicine is expanding its partnership with a large hospital chain to bring more residency slots to the state.
The school’s partnership with Hospital Corporation of America will create more than 550 residency positions over the next five years, in areas including Orlando, Ocala and Gainesville, helping graduate up to 150 physicians a year.
The residencies are expected to be for internal medicine, family medicine and OB/Gyn, with other specialty areas expected in the future.
The state and the nation not only face physician shortages, but also a shortage in residency slots. Last year alone, more than 600 U.S. medical school graduates were left without a residency position.
“We know that where a resident completes his or her program is usually where they decide to stay and work,” Dr. Deborah German, UCF’s vice president of medical affairs and founding dean of the medical school said in a statement. “We are eager to partner with hospitals across our community and state to attract and retain more excellent doctors for Florida residents.”
UCF currently has internal medicine residencies at Osceola Regional Medical Center, an HCA hospital.
“As part of the nation’s leading hospital network, HCA’s North Florida Division brings significant resources and a dedicated commitment to meeting Florida’s critical need for physicians by expanding access to medical residency programs,” said Michael Joyce, president of HCA’s North Florida Division, in a news release. “We are excited to partner with UCF to provide outstanding training and mentorship that will prepare the next generation of physicians to deliver the highest quality of patient care.”
In a separate effort, Florida created 422 new residency slots this year under the Governor’s State Medicaid Residency Program and the Legislature’s new Graduate Medical Education Startup Bonus Program, increasing the state’s residency slots from 3,951 to 4,373.
A study earlier this year showed that Florida faces a shortage of 7,000 specialists over the next decade. The largest areas of need are in psychiatry, general surgery, rheumatology and thoracic surgery.
The state’s bonus program gives participating hospitals a one-time $100,000 bonus for every new residency slot they create in specialty areas with a shortage.