Pensacola, FL — West Florida Healthcare is proud to announce the launch of their first ever Graduate Medical Education Residency Programs in partnership with the University Of Central Florida College Of Medicine. Accredited by the Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the new programs will train residents in physical medicine and rehabilitation and obstetrics and gynecology. West Florida Healthcare is currently building applications for residency programs in emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine and psychiatric medicine for July 2022. A residency is a critical component of a physician’s career path. The programs last between three and seven years, depending on the specialty, and follows graduation from medical school to prepare physicians for independent practice in a medical specialty. In total, 183 residents will call Northwest Florida home during their training.

“West Florida Healthcare is thrilled to partner with the University Of Central Florida College Of Medicine to bring this innovative new residency program to our community,” said Gay Nord, Chief Executive Officer for West Florida Healthcare. “Our vibrant hospital services and expertly trained medical staff make West Florida Healthcare an ideal partner for the hospital-based portion of the clinical training necessary for the residents. In addition, attracting and retaining talent is a key component of expanding access to care and improving the health of our community. As these residents complete their training, our community and our region will see both economic and health benefits. We are fortunate to have the strong infrastructure necessary to create this program as well as our existing team of highly skilled physicians who can train the next generation of caregivers.”

Across the country, HCA Healthcare is the largest sponsor of residency and fellowship programs for physicians. The impact of HCA Healthcare’s efforts to train the next generation of healthcare leaders is significant and each program helps to address the doctor shortage nationwide. Currently, the program includes 61 teaching hospitals in 16 states that include:

  • 4,754 Residents
  • 309 Fellows
  • 221 Residency Programs
  • 83 Fellowship Programs

In Florida, HCA Healthcare is home to the largest teaching hospital system. With over 1,900 residents and fellows at 25 hospitals, HCA Healthcare trains the most new doctors in Florida. With the level of experience that HCA Healthcare has in developing Graduate Medical Education Programs and the expert training provided by the University Of Central Florida College Of Medicine, West Florida Healthcare is well positioned for immediate success.

“We are delighted to partner with West Florida Healthcare and serve the Pensacola community,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for health affairs and the founding dean of the UCF College of Medicine. “Our mission at the UCF College of Medicine includes improving healthcare for all. Residency programs are an important part of that effort. Physicians often remain in the community where they had their residency training and our programs will allow Pensacola to have a supply of outstanding, compassionate young physicians, now and into the future.”

The first two residency programs at West Florida Healthcare are physical medicine and rehabilitation and obstetrics and gynecology and the first residents will begin their training the week of June 21. Additional residency programs in internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatric medicine will begin over the next twelve months and additional residents will be moving to the area to start their training.  As part of the program, residents will experience National Grand Rounds, a series of webinars that leverage accomplished clinical expertise from across HCA Healthcare that brings the nation’s leading medical experts to our residency programs.

“This residency program is rooted in evidence based medicine. Our experiential learning process leads to real-world patient health solutions and improves medical best practices, research and regulatory requirements, and helps to address the need for additional medical professionals to serve our communities,” said Dr. Julie DeCesare, OBGYN with West Florida Healthcare and Program Director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program. “Merging the rigor of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education program with high patient touch, our residents will deliver evidence-based care that demonstrates our mission to care for and improve human life.”