The University of Central Florida College of Medicine has a new Emergency Medicine residency program that will begin in July 2016 and is seeking immediate applicants. The medical school’s newest graduate medical education (GME) training program is in partnership with Osceola Regional Medical Center and is designed to bring more trained doctors to the Central Florida community.

UCF is beginning its resident recruitment process immediately for Emergency Medicine residents and plans to start several residents this summer, building to a full complement of 21 trainees in its three-year program.

Residency interviews will be offered competitively to all qualified medical school graduates, thus adding additional opportunities for UCF medical school graduates who wish to do their residency training in Orlando as well as other students from medical schools across Florida, the nation and the world. Residency training slots have become increasingly competitive as the U.S. builds more medical schools.

This week, UCF received word that the national Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) had approved its residency program. The medical school’s first residency program in Internal Medicine is conducted through a partnership with Osceola Regional Medical Center and the Orlando VA Medical Center and will be training 54 residents by July 2016.

“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.”

Dr. Diane Davey, assistant dean for graduate medical education, added that the new program will address a specific need for emergency room doctors. “Florida needs more emergency medicine physicians, and many of our medical student graduates have been selecting this specialty,” she said.

Emergency Medicine residents will benefit from the medical school’s nationally recognized use of interactive, digital learning tools. “We are excited to have residents with a pioneering spirit who are excited about the chance to build something new and use cutting edge technology,” said Dr. Bethany Ballinger, program director of the new Emergency Medicine residency who helped create the digital curriculum at the medical school.

“Educating tomorrow’s physicians is a key priority for HCA’s North Florida Division, and as the nation’s leading hospital network, we are proud to dedicate our resources and expertise to the task,” said Joel Jeffries, M.D., vice president of graduate medical education. “Together with UCF, we are committed to providing our residents with an exceptional training and mentorship experience at Osceola Regional Medical Center.”

The nation’s most sought-after residencies expose residents to a rich array of patients presenting a multitude of conditions, thus giving young physicians greater opportunity to learn and practice. Osceola Regional’s Emergency Department has over 80,000 patient visits a year and will offer trainees the opportunity to treat both pediatric and adult emergency cases in Osceola County, one of Florida’s most diverse and fastest-growing counties. In addition to the significant commitment it has shown to GME programs, the medical center is a designated stroke and chest pain center, and has provisional designation as a Level 2 Trauma Center.

 Increasing residency programs has been a big priority for hospitals and medical schools throughout Florida, where residency programs have not kept pace with population and medical school growth:

  • Florida currently 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.
  • Florida needs approximately 3,350 more residency positions to meet the average national ratio of medical residents per 100,000 state population according to Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
  • For more information about the College of Medicine’s Emergency Medicine residency program, please visit gme.med.ucf.edu. Medical students interested in applying to the new program can apply directly and should contact Michelle Stevenson, emergency medicine program coordinator at Osceola Regional, at [email protected] or 321- 697-1748 with any questions.