News

7.26.2011

New Surgical Residency Program Approved at Regional Campus

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has received approval for the first allopathic surgical residency program in Palm Beach County. The new five-year program at the University of Miami Regional Campus in Palm Beach County was approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and will be implemented in close collaboration with JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, where it will be based. In addition, the surgical residents will rotate through Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in such specialties as trauma, pediatric surgery, transplant and liver surgery.

The only other allopathic residency program in Palm Beach County is the University of Miami’s residency program in internal medicine, also based at JFK Medical Center.

“To have two new residency programs established and accredited at the same facility is a testament to the evolution of HCA’s JFK Medical Center as a teaching hospital,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Chief Executive Officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System. “With these two programs firmly in place, we are securing a pipeline for outstanding physicians in Palm Beach County.”

“Together with the University of Miami, JFK Medical Center is proud to continue to provide an exceptional residency environment,” says Gina Melby, CEO of JFK Medical Center. “Our commitment to training the future surgeons of our community will prove to be a benefit to our area.”

The first group of four surgical residents began their training at JFK this month. According to 2010 research conducted by the American College of Surgeons Health Policy Research Institute, current residency programs do not have the capacity to address the growing shortage of general surgeons. The researchers called for new programs and increased graduate medical education funding to address the need.

“This new surgical residency program will help address the work force needs of the state of Florida and Palm Beach County in an area of critical need, general surgery,” said Laurence Gardner, M.D., executive dean for education and policy at the Miller School. “Despite the dramatic increase in medical school graduates in the state of Florida, it is the number of residency positions which really determines how many new physicians are likely to enter the Florida work force, and that number has remained the same for the past ten years, except for the new residency programs sponsored by UM at JFK Medical Center.”

In 2000, there were 500 medical school graduates in Florida. That number is expected to grow to more than 1,300 in 2020, while only a handful of new residency and fellowship programs were approved in Florida this year, thus forcing Florida medical graduates to join residency training programs outside of the state.

“For more than three decades, the United States has only trained 1,000 general surgeons per year, despite the growth in the population, and to make matters worse, in recent years the majority of those general surgery trainees have gone on to specialized fellowship training,” said Alan Livingstone, M.D., professor and chairman of UM’s DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery. “Our new residency program with JFK will help with the general surgeon shortage, given that most graduates of training programs stay in the region where they completed their residency. Our program will be broad-based and directed toward producing the classic, well-rounded general surgeon. This is an exciting development for Palm Beach County and all of South Florida.”

“JFK is excited to be embarking on the surgical residency in partnership with University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,” said Michael Joseph, CEO and President of HCA East Florida, which owns JFK. “Our partnership raises the bar of academic medicine for Palm Beach County.”

Robert Kozol, M.D., M.S.A., will serve as the founding director of the general surgery residency training program. Before joining UM, Dr. Kozol was professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Connecticut and program director of the Surgery Residency Program.

“These are exciting times on our regional campus in Palm Beach County,” said Dr. Kozol. “Our teaching programs will increase the quality of care in our hospitals, and will produce the physicians of the future for Palm Beach County.”

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