UCF is pleased to work with the HCA Healthcare and the Orlando VA Medical Center to sponsor residency and fellowship programs accredited by the ACGME.
In October, 2015 UCF announced a residency consortium with HCA North Florida Division that will add over 600 residency and fellowship spots in the greater Orlando area (including Kissimmee), Gainesville and Ocala. Programs are now also planned in Pensacola at West Florida Regional Medical Center, Inc. HCA Healthcare is the nation’s largest hospital network. There are now 25 residency and fellowship programs approved by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in the consortium, including 2 programs that began as osteopathic programs. Newly accredited programs in anesthesiology, psychiatry, surgery, transitional year, and rheumatology welcomed their first resident and fellowship classes in 2018, while the Ocala-based orthopaedic surgery residency and surgical critical care fellowship and the Gainesville-based hospice and palliative medicine fellowship will start new trainees in July 2019.
The college’s first residency program – in internal medicine – began in 2013 in partnership with the Orlando VA and Osceola Regional medical centers. The inaugural classes of several programs have achieved high board pass rates to date. Our 2018-19 programs at North Florida Regional Medical Center (Gainesville), Ocala Regional Medical Center, and Osceola Regional Medical Center have over 350 residents and fellows. The Orlando VA also has fellowship programs separate from the consortium in which fellows are directly employed by the VAMC.
The new residencies help fill a state and national need, and will also help address the doctor shortage in Florida. The doctor shortage impacts patients, who often must wait weeks to see a physician. There are not enough residency slots in the nation for the number of medical school graduates each year, said Dr. Deborah German, UCF’s vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the UCF College of Medicine. While 97 percent of UCF’s medical school graduates find residencies, many qualified students do not, simply because there are not enough spots, she said. More than 600 U.S. medical school seniors have been left without residency positions in recent years – effectively meaning they could not practice medicine after graduating with their M.D. degrees.
“We know that where a resident completes his or her program is usually where they decide to stay and work,” Dr. German said. “We are eager to partner with hospitals across our community and state to attract and retain more excellent doctors for Florida residents.”