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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida gets more medical residency slots



Hundreds more medical students will now be able to train in Florida following the addition of 325 new federally funded residency slots, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced on Wednesday.

The news comes at a time when medical schools across the state are being increasingly vocal about a shortage of such slots. While Florida is one of the most populous states, it's near the bottom in terms of residency availabilities nationwide. And studies show that doctors tend to settle down where they complete their residencies. Last year, 867 medical students who graduated from Florida schools competed for 651 residency positions. The rest left.

These new slots will help, but they certainly won't totally solve the problem. Some estimates put Florida's shortage of slots around 2,000. Castor's news release this week said it was nearly 3,000.

Hospitals gaining the most positions are Tallahassee Memorial, 78; Florida Hospital in Orlando, 69; Palmetto General in Hialeah, 57; Broward General in Fort Lauderdale, 46; Halifax in Daytona Beach, 18; and Welling Regional in West Palm Beach, 18, the Associated Press reported.

Attached are the letter from Castor to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, calling for the increased slots; and also a chart from the Florida Department of Health showing the current and projected residency shortage (that chart does not include this new influx.)

[Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:17am]


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