In the newest graduate medical education (GME) program available through a partnership between the UCF College of Medicine and Osceola Regional Medical Center, seven new doctors began their residencies in emergency medicine in July.
The highly selective program, which seeks to address Florida's shortage of physician residencies, drew hundreds of applicants from across the country. A total of 21 trainees will participate over the course of the three-year program. This summer, Osceola Regional also welcomed new 21 residents in internal medicine and nine in OB-GYN specialties.
"Osceola County is the fastest-growing county in Florida, and having locally trained physicians in our Emergency Department will allow us to better serve our community for years to come," said Robert Krieger, CEO of Osceola Regional Medical Center. "We are grateful that these doctors are starting their careers with us, and we look forward to supporting their professional growth."
"This program will allow more physicians to remain in-state to complete their residencies and fellowships," said Joel Jeffries, MD, vice president of graduate medical education for HCA's North Florida Division, Osceola Regional's parent company. "We are proud to provide top-notch training and mentorship for the next generation of doctors."
"Residency programs are part of the promise that was made to this community and an important element in a medical school that will anchor a medical city," said Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine. "If we have more residencies, we'll have more trained doctors in our community because many doctors practice where they complete their residency programs."
Florida ranks 42nd of the 50 states in the number of residency positions per 100,000 people, with approximately 19 resident physicians per 100,000 population.
The emergency medicine residency is part of the GME consortium between HCA's North Florida division and UCF, which was launched in Fall 2015. Over the next five years, the consortium seeks to enroll more than 550 residents and fellows and graduate up to 150 residents per year.