Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s first class of resident physicians begin their training July 1, kicking off a graduate medical education (GME) program developed to offset a shortage of physicians and increase access to medical Continued on Page 10 care in the community.

SMH joined forces with Florida State University College of Medicine to create Sarasota County’s first GME program. Working sideby-side and under the supervision of SMH attending physicians, the 13 residents will care for ill or injured patients in the hospital, as well as provide primary and preventive care to patients in SMH’s new Internal Medicine practice in Newtown, which has been named the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Health Center at Sarasota Memorial Internal Medicine Practice, after one of its donors.

“Our overall goal is to train outstanding community physicians who are knowledgeable, skilled and compassionate,” said Wilhelmine Wiese-Rometsch, MD, FACP, director of the FSU College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sarasota Memorial. “But we also hope they will form lasting relationships with the community, put down roots and start their practices here.”

During their three years of training, each new physician rotates through the various subspecialties of Internal Medicine: hospital/inpatient medicine, intensive care, cardiology, pulmonology and geriatrics, to name a few. They also will spend one week each month caring for patients at the Newtown practice. Training is provided through observation, lectures and medical oversight of attending SMH physicians who serve on the FSU College of Medicine faculty and who will guide the decisions and care provided to all patients. The faculty includes more than 40 Internal Medicine physicians and subspecialists practicing at SMH and in community practice settings.

An important part of the resident physicians’ outpatient training, the Newtown practice will operate like a traditional group physician practice, except that each patient will have two doctors managing their care – the resident physician and supervising attending physician – instead of just one. All of SMH’s attending physicians are board-certified Internal Medicine specialists and experienced members of Sarasota Memorial’s medical staff.

Together, the residents and attending physicians will provide a full range of primary and preventive care, including:

* Physicals, annual exams and adult vaccinations
* Care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and thyroid disease
* Care for acute illness, such as the flu, pneumonia and ear infections
* General health, nutrition and medication counseling After successfully finishing the three-year program, the resident physicians can become licensed as independent practitioners. SMH will accept a new class of internal medicine residents each year until it reaches capacity at 39 residents per year.