Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Health

West Pasco hospital to begin residency program for internal medicine

BAYONET POINT — To shore up the nation's thinning ranks of primary care physicians and keep more of them in Pasco, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has announced plans to start its first residency program.

The hospital was recently approved by the American Osteopathic Association for an internal medicine residency program, with the first batch of six doctors to begin July 2014. Bayonet Point will be the first hospital in Pasco County to have a residency program, which represents a $1 million investment, said Ava Fulbright, vice president of Graduate Medical Education for HCA West Florida.

The hospital had to submit an application to the association, where it listed how it plans to train residents, addressing such topics as curriculum, rotation schedules and leadership. Residents spend three years practicing in an office environment, working shifts in the emergency room and doing rotations with various specialists.

"Our program will be dedicated to providing the highest-quality graduate medical education for those who come to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point from the nation's medical schools," hospital chief executive Shayne George said.

Plans also include adding residency programs in general surgery and internal medicine for allopathic physicians, or those who have earned an M.D. Osteopaths earn a D.O. and have a holistic approach to medicine. Both are equally qualified to practice medicine.

The plans began in 2012 when HCA, the Nashville-based for-profit chain that is Bayonet Point's parent company, announced it would add residency programs to a number of hospitals across Florida, including Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill. Within five years, HCA officials said they expected to have 200 to 300 residents between the hospitals.

Officials hoped to expand the program to Brandon Regional Hospital and Blake Medical Center in Bradenton in July 2015, with plans to grow to another 200 to 300 residents.

HCA's goal is to create additional residency slots at hospitals in southeast Florida and the Orlando area. Eventually, still more residencies could come online locally, including at the Medical Center of Trinity.

The benefits to the hospital and community are many, Fulbright said.

"Any time you have residents training in a hospital it means there is more care readily available 24/7/365," she said. "It also creates a more stimulating environment for the existing medical staff in that they are engaged in their training and asked challenging questions. The teaching faculty is encouraged to keep up on the most current medical changes and best practices through journals and conferences."

That's not news to Dr. Rao Musunuru, a longtime cardiologist at the hospital's heart institute.

"I always learn more when I teach," said Musunuru, who over the years has provided continuing education for heart specialists.

He said the program will help Pasco and the Tampa Bay area bolster its ranks of primary care doctors, which are predicted to be in short supply as health care reform creates more insured patients and the population of aging baby boomers continues to swell.

The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have a shortage of 62,900 primary care doctors. That number will more than double by 2025.

Even without the health care law, which will add 30 million insured patients next year, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would exceed 100,000.

"They'll have ties to Florida, and the chances are greater they will hang around," said Musunuru, who did his residency in New York because his brother-in-law lived there.

And as doctors like Musunuru, 59, prepare to retire, more will be needed to replace them.

"These young kids don't want to work 60 or 70 hours a week," he said.

Researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Comments
Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Josephine Rizo survived chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, but breast cancer treatment wrecked her finances.Money was already tight when doctors told the Phoenix resident she had an aggressive form of the disease. Then she took a pay cut after goin...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Hernando County officials gather to remedy ‘dearth of services’ for youth with mental illness

BROOKSVILLE — Educators, court officials, law enforcement officers and health care professionals met Friday to identify the best ways to keep local youth with mental illnesses out of the court system and provide treatment for those already in the sys...
Published: 05/22/18
Give your arms a workout, too

Give your arms a workout, too

In addition to appearance, it is very important to maintain strength in those arms, as they are needed for practically every upper body movement we perform. We often take our 23 arm muscles for granted, until we reach a point where it suddenly become...
Published: 05/22/18
Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Going long hours without eating isn’t good for us, we are often told. Our bodies need fuel regularly. Otherwise, we may become lethargic, tired and hungry. Our thinking can become mushy, our ability to work, and even play, hampered.Not so fast.A new ...
Published: 05/22/18
U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration’s action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM’-oh-vig) for sale. It’s the first in a new class of long-acting dru...
Published: 05/18/18
Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day, and the American Medical Association is encouraging people to monitor their blood pressure levels and get high blood pressure, or hypertension, under control. High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as the...
Published: 05/17/18
Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple’s ability to conceive?The la...
Published: 05/17/18
Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

Tampa General Hospital named among top 100 in U.S., second best in Florida

TAMPA—Tampa General Hospital was named one of the top 100 hospitals in America for the fifth consecutive year, and second best in Florida, according to one health industry website.Tampa General is considered the best hospital in the Tampa area, accor...
Published: 05/16/18
Joe Redner asks Florida Supreme Court: Let me grow marijuana now

Joe Redner asks Florida Supreme Court: Let me grow marijuana now

Even though a circuit judge has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner can grow and juice his own marijuana, he was barred from doing so until the appeals process is finished.So Redner’s lawyers filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court o...
Published: 05/15/18
Heated chemo is the key as Tampa General doctor tackles ovarian cancer

Heated chemo is the key as Tampa General doctor tackles ovarian cancer

Over the span of three weeks, Brenda Gotlen watched as her abdomen got bigger. Her lower stomach felt bloated."It got to the point that I looked nine months pregnant," said Gotlen, a 62-year-old Seffner resident. She made an appointment to see her pr...
Published: 05/15/18