SARASOTA — The Florida State University College of Medicine and the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System have teamed up to address a major health care issue: an acute shortage of doctors.
The college and hospital, according to a release, will create an internal medicine resident program in Sarasota. The program, the first allopathic residency program between St. Petersburg and Fort Myers, is expected to produce up to 10 new internal medicine physicians a year at full capacity. The program could begin taking applications from prospective residents in 2016 and admit its first residents in 2017.
The residency program will be based at Sarasota Memorial Hospital with the Florida State University College of Medicine as its institutional sponsor, the release states. The new program in Sarasota will be the seventh residency program sponsored by Florida State.
“Creating a residency program is the next logical step in Sarasota Memorial's progression to becoming a teaching hospital, but it's also an important move for our region,” says Dr. Steve Taylor, Sarasota Memorial chief medical operations officer, in the release. “Without more residency programs, the physician shortage that Florida is experiencing will only worsen as our population swells and our existing physician workforce retires.”
Several recent studies highlight the doctor and nurse shortage in, Florida and nationwide. Florida, according to the release, currently ranks 42nd nationally in its percentage of medical residents, despite being the third most populous state. Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming - the only states with fewer per capita medical residents - have a combined population roughly half the size of Florida's. And on a local basis, the Sarasota-Bradenton region is home to more than 100,000 residents age 65 and older, a demographic in need of more medical care.
The Florida State University College of Medicine has run a regional campus in Sarasota since 2005. “This new internal medicine residency program is a significant part of the commitment to producing future physicians for Sarasota and this entire region,” FSU College of Medicine Dean Dr. John Fogarty says in the statement.