Florida State University College of Medicine and Lee Memorial Health System's new Family Medicine Residency Program are celebrating a major milestone with the opening of the program's family medicine practice. The practice is part of Lee Physician Group and located at Lee Memorial Hospital.
Serving as the learning center of the residency program, the family medicine practice will be staffed by the program's faculty of five physicians, a clinical psychologist and a nurse practitioner.
Two faculty physicians, Gary Goforth, M.D., residency program director, and Rick Waks, D.O., medical director, as well as Arlene Wright, ARNP are currently accepting new patients and laying the foundation to train the program's first family residents next summer.
Gary Goforth, M.D., residency program director
Three additional board certified family practitioners and faculty members, Christy Cavanagh, M.D., Julia Fashner, M.D., and Alfred Gitu, M.D. will join the practice by mid-October.
A collaboration between Florida State University College of Medicine and Lee Memorial Health System, the Family Medicine Residency Program is the first residency program of its kind in Southwest Florida. The program will provide three years of training for six family residents each year. Residents will complete a 36-month rotational program to include patient care at the new clinic, as well as inpatient care at Lee Memorial Hospital, HealthPark Medical Center and The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. They also will complete outpatient rotations in specific medical areas throughout Lee Physician Group offices.
With a looming shortage of physicians, especially primary care doctors, the residency program is critical to insuring long term access to family doctors in Southwest Florida according to Goforth.
"Historically, over half of the residents trained in a residency program practice within 50 miles of their training program, so our hope is that this residency program will play a significant role in meeting the primary care health care needs in Lee County and Southwest Florida," Goforth said.
The next step for the program is earning full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in October said Goforth. Once accredited, they can begin interviewing fourth-year medical students interested in the residency program.
"We are already seeing strong interest in the program," Goforth said. "Our highly qualified staff of practicing physicians, the reputation of Lee Memorial Health System, and the desirable Southwest Florida lifestyle are attracting the interest of top medical students."
To learn more about the residency program, visit med.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=FamilyMedicine.home