FAU to Train ER Docs, General Surgeons

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On July 1, Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicinewill launch six-year residency training program for future emergency room physicians and general surgeons.

The general surgery residents will train primarily at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, but also at Bethesda Hospital East in Boynton Beach, Delray Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.

Three-year emergency medicine residents will be based mostly out of Bethesda Hospital East, but also at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Delray Medical Center.

The hospitals are member teaching hospitals FAU College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education (GME) Consortium.

The fact that there is a local university sponsoring residency programs, which are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), is good news for Palm Beach County residents. Why? TheAssociation of American Medical Colleges recently released alarming numbers about a nationwide looming physician shortage. Among the findings, the U.S. will face a shortfall of between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians in the next decade. Medical specialties could be the hardest hit.

Increasing residency training spots is among the solutions for the shortage, so it’s good for health care in general. But it’s also good for local patients, because residents often end up practicing where they train.

FAU’s general surgery program is one of the largest in the nation, according to a university press release. It’s approved for 45 clinical positions and up to seven positions for an added year of scholarship and research. FAU’s new department of surgery includes more than 240 affiliated, full-time and part-time faculty, in not only general surgery but also orthopedics, neurosurgery, urology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology/head and neck surgery. Among the department’s goals is to build state-of-the-art research programs.

FAU’s emergency medicine residency program is approved for 18 positions. Residents in the program will gain experience in emergency medicine, trauma, anesthesia and in the medical intensive care unit (ICU), surgical ICU and pediatric ICU.

“Together with our outstanding hospital partners in the GME Consortium we are fulfilling our commitment to ensure that we continue to have a strong physician workforce and an enhanced health care delivery system in this region,” Dr. Arthur J. Ross, III, interim dean and professor of FAU’s College of Medicine, says in a university press release.

And there are plenty of takers for a residency program in sunny South Florida. FAU’s surgical residency program has already reviewed more than 100 candidate applications. Fifteen of the top candidates will be selected to start in the coming week.