Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

West Pasco hospital to begin residency program for internal medicine

In 2015, the United States will have an estimated shortage of 62,900 primary care doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

iStockphoto.com

In 2015, the United States will have an estimated shortage of 62,900 primary care doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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.

West Pasco hospital to begin residency program for internal medicine 09/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 13 killed, dozens hurt when van plows into crowd in Barcelona

    World

    UPDATE: A regional government official in Spain says 13 people have been killed in the van attack at a historic shopping and tourist area of Barcelona.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  2. Malala Yousafzai, Nobel winner shot for promoting education, to study at Oxford

    World

    LONDON — Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman for speaking out for girls' rights to an education, has been accepted by the University of Oxford.

    A Tuesday, July. 18, 2017 file photo of Nobel Peace laureate, Malala Yousafzai, gesturing, during a visit to school in Maiduguri Nigeria. Malala Yousafzai has gained a place at the University of Oxford. The 20-year-old education activist tweeted her acceptance to the school, saying she was "so excited" to win a spot to study philosophy, politics and economics. [Associated Press]
  3. New Safety Harbor post office will be on McMullen-Booth Road

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — Although a move-in date is months away, representatives for the U.S. Postal Service recently signed the lease for the city's new post office.

    In June of next year a new post office will open at the site of a former Fifth Third Bank branch at 1703 N  McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor.
  4. Former owner of Sirata Beach Resort purchases two Tampa Bay shopping centers

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — After selling the Sirata Beach Resort and Conference in February, Nicklaus of Florida, Inc., has purchased two Tampa Bay shopping centers to diversify the firm's portfolio in the area. Colliers International, representing the sellers, announced the transaction this week.

    Sirata Beach Resort and Conference Center, one of Tampa Bay's last family-owned beach hotels, was sold to a Texas-based company, Crescent Real Estate LLC for $108.19 million. [LARA CERRI | Times]
  5. Shania Twain arena tour includes Tampa stop this time

    Blogs

    Shania Twain is coming to Tampa as part of a major U.S. tour in support of her forthcoming (and long-awaited) new album Now.

    Shania Twain will play Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2018.