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FSU, SMH Internal Medicine Residency Program Receives Initial Accreditation Approval

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FSU Media Contact
Doug Carlson: (850) 645-1255 or (850) 694-3735

SMH Media Contact
Kim Savage: (941) 893-7649

FSU, SMH Internal Medicine Residency Program
Receives Initial Accreditation Approval

SARASOTA, Fla. (April 12, 2016) – The Florida State University College of Medicine and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System received the good news today that their Internal Medicine Residency Program was approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

The initial accreditation clears the way for SMH and FSU to begin reaching out to graduating medical students interested in enrolling in the program in the summer of 2017.

“The news couldn’t have been more timely … we just spent two days meeting with a really top-notch group of medical students presenting their research and case reports at the Florida ACP conference in Orlando,” said Wilhelmine Wiese-Rometsch, MD, director of the FSU College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sarasota Memorial. “Many of the students are getting ready to graduate this year and were very interested in Sarasota’s program. As news of our accreditation gets out, the level of interest is already intensifying.”

The ACGME approved the program’s initial accreditation following the April 8-10 meeting of the internal medicine review committee. Once the Sarasota program has been operational two years, ACGME surveyors will conduct a second site visit to validate it is meeting the standards of ACGME, the sanctioning body of graduate medical education in the U.S. and Canada.

The Sarasota program is the first residency program approved by ACGME between St. Petersburg and Fort Myers along Florida’s west coast. When it reaches full capacity in year three, the Sarasota program will enroll 39 residents and by 2020 begin producing 13 new internal medicine physicians each year.

Developed to help combat a growing shortage of primary care physicians, the residency program is an important move for the region, said John P. Fogarty, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine. The Sarasota area grew by 25,000 people between 2010 and 2015 and is home to more than 125,000 residents age 65 and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This new internal medicine residency program is a significant part of the commitment to producing future physicians for Sarasota and this entire region,” Dr. Fogarty said. “Numerous studies have shown that most physicians end up practicing near where they completed residency or fellowship training.”

During their three years of training, residents rotate through all of the disciplines in internal medicine under the supervision of FSU and Sarasota Memorial’s highly qualified, board certified physicians and medical educators.

Residents and teaching hospitals also provide a significant source of care for underserved populations, including 40 percent of all charity care in the United States, according to the American Medical Association. Nationwide, resident physicians also provide services for the most critically ill patients, including those suffering from HIV/AIDS, burn victims, and veterans.

As part of Sarasota’s residency program, Sarasota Memorial plans to open an adult Internal Medicine practice in Newtown that will serve as a base for resident physicians’ outpatient training. The facility will allow the residents to gain experience in chronic disease management and preventive health, while providing continuity of care to a vulnerable and underserved population. People visiting the clinic would be cared for by resident physicians and Sarasota Memorial faculty physicians co-managing and supervising each patient’s care for the duration of each resident’s three-year training program. The team will care for the uninsured and underinsured, including Medicaid and Medicare patients, at low to no cost depending on an individual’s ability to pay.

Upon completing their residency, the physicians can apply for board certification and become licensed to practice independently as Internal Medicine specialists or continue their training in additional subspecialties.

FSU College of Medicine Internal Residency Program at Sarasota Memorial
The Internal Medicine program in Sarasota will be the fifth residency program sponsored by the FSU College of Medicine. In the past five years, the College of Medicine has sponsored new programs in Tallahassee (internal medicine, general surgery and dermatology) and Fort Myers (family medicine). Florida State also sponsors a fellowship for advanced training in procedural dermatology in Tallahassee.

About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s flagship 819-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital repeatedly ranked #1 in the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice-North Port region (U.S. News’ “Best Hospitals”) and among the top 100 hospitals in the nation (Truven Health Analytics).