South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday July 16, 2019
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July 2019 - Volume 16 - Issue 1

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Lee Health Partners with FSU College of Medicine to Open Internal Medicine Residency Program - Second Physician Training Program to Open at Cape Coral Hospital

June 26, 2019 - The Lee Health Board of Directors and The Florida State University College of Medicine are announcing plans to create an internal medicine residency program in Cape Coral. This marks the second collaboration between the two organizations, following Lee Health’s family medicine residency program which welcomed its first class in 2014. 
 
The internal medicine residency program will be based at Cape Coral Hospital with the FSU College of Medicine as its institutional sponsor. The three-year program will open with eight residents in 2021, and will eventually feature a total of 24 active residents when it reaches capacity in its third year. 
 
“Our family medicine residency program has been very successful in its five years of operation, and we are excited to expand our relationship with FSU’s medical school by bringing an internal medicine residency program to Southwest Florida, said Dr. Venkat Prasad, Lee Physician Group Chief Medical Officer. “Doctors entering the program will receive hands on training in cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, endocrinology and other subspecialties of internal medicine. We look forward to welcoming our first class in two years to help serve our growing community.” 
 
Residents are licensed and certified doctors who face a full range of challenges and are overseen and mentored by seasoned professionals. They will gain intense, real word experience in effort to prepare them as the next generation of internal medicine providers in Southwest Florida. 
 
“Lee Health brought the first physician residency program to Southwest Florida, and we are excited to continue to grow our Graduate Medical Education offerings to recruit the best new doctors from around the country,” said Dr. Stephen Brown, Lee Health Board of Directors chairman. “In a community that is growing as fast as Southwest Florida it is essential we proactively pursue steps to meet the demand for health care.”
 
Most physicians end up practicing near the location where they complete their residency training, and the goal is to keep the majority of the physicians in Southwest Florida to care for the rapidly growing population. Residency programs give hospitals and health systems the opportunity to train doctors to care for the unique needs of the community, and helps combat the national physician shortage in high-demand specialty areas.  
 
“We are Southwest Florida’s largest city, and this new program is a great opportunity for Cape Coral to attract bright and innovative physicians from around the country to our area,” said Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello. “Thank you to Lee Health and FSU for bringing this program to our hospital, and for their proactive approach to addressing physician shortages.”
 
To date, 24 physicians have completed Lee Health’s family medicine program, and of that seven have accepted offers to remain at Lee Health while a total of 13 have remained in Southwest Florida. The number of doctors staying locally surpassed the program’s stated goal of retaining at least 50 percent of residents in the region following the completion of their training. The new internal medicine program expects to see similar results, which will provide Southwest Florida with highly-trained physicians to help meet the growing need.  
 
 
 
About Lee Health
Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Formerly known as Lee Memorial Health System, the organization began its second century of service with a new name in 2016. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.
 
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