Saturday, April 26, 2014
FAU'S NEW PHYSICIAN RESIDENCY PROGRAM BRINGS GOOD NEWS FOR OUR LOCAL MEDICAL CENTERS AND FOR FUTURE PATIENTS
With New York having 82 medical residents and Massachusetts having 84 per 100,000/population, Florida is hard at work to catch up, to fill the gap of shortages of residents with our FAU (Florida Atlantic University) playing a big part. Florida had about 19 physicians in training per 100,000/population and placed 42nd in the United States. About 25% of Florida’s physicians are over age 65.
Three local community hospitals will be benefiting from the new Florida Atlantic University (FAU) physician residency program. Recently there were 36 medical school graduates, who will be employed at Boca Regional Medical Center, Delray Medical Center and Bethesda West (near Boyton Beach), and these medical centers are becoming academic teaching hospitals. About half of these grads will be at Boca Raton Regional. The new physicians will be using the FAU Medical Simulation Centers and Boca Raton and West Palm Beach to learn about high risk procedures, and connected to FAU’s Boca Raton campus through conferencing and virtual classrooms.
While serving hospital patients, two new FAU outpatient clinics are coming to Boca Raton Regional and Bethesda West where these residents will provide primary care and conduct wellness programs in the communities. Thirty-nine percent have roots in Florida. They begin working on July 1. FAU’s College of Medicine’s program began in 2011 with 64 students, who will be eligible to be residents after next year’s graduation. FAU’s goal is within three years to grow to 96 physicians in their new internal medicine residency and to 400 within five years, serving at the three hospitals above and adding St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach and the West Boca Medical Center. The college medical association says that 47% of doctors set up practices where they complete their residency, making friends in the area, establishing roots, working with colleagues, buying a property and finding a partner. Half the current graduates will be working at Boca Raton Regional.
Dr. David Bjorkman, Dean of the FAU College of Medicine says that FAU is awaiting approval from its accrediting body on a surgical residency and developing programs in emergency medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics and considering other programs. Dr. Charles Posternack, Chief Medical Officer at Boca Raton Regional, said that “the physician trainees will being patient care to a new level…academic medical centers perform research that benefits patients locally and around the world, and become a magnet to physicians”.
Boca Raton Regional has been aiming to transition into a teaching hospital for the past seven years and their working together with FAU has brought new and wonderful benefits to our area.