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Health center announces physician training program

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Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) recently achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and is now interviewing candidates for its new Family Medicine Residency Program. FHCSD will accept six residents per year for the three-year residency training program.

The training program was made possible by the Affordable Care Act, which created the new Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program (THCGME) to establish physician training programs in underserved community-based settings. FHCSD Residents will be based at the Family Medicine Training Program in FHCSD's City Heights Family Health Center where they will learn primary care medicine. For their inpatient medicine and surgical experience, they will rotate through Scripps Mercy Hospital and Rady Children's Hospital.

The change in focus from training in hospitals to community-based settings is due to a critical shortage of 16,000 primary care physicians in America. Fewer than one in three physicians choose primary care over specialty medicine. Locally, San Diego has nine Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). HPSAs are areas of documented medical staff shortages. Without additional physicians to supply population needs, HPSA areas may increase.

Studies have shown that residents trained in community health centers or rural communities are more likely than those trained in other settings to make a career practicing in underserved or rural areas.

"The goal of our Family Medicine Residency Program is to recruit and train physicians from diverse backgrounds to work in underserved communities of San Diego," said Family Health Centers of San Diego CEO Fran Butler-Cohen. "With almost 200,000 unique patients, diverse programs and 36 sites, Family Health Centers of San Diego can create training opportunities unmatched by smaller residency programs. FHCSD's large scale obstetrical program, specialized services for at-risk children, robust pediatrics program, homeless services, mobile units, mental health and chronic disease management are only a few of the many programs that help define FHCSD's concept of community-based training."

Dr. Chris Gordon, FHCSD's Residency Program Director will lead the training program.

"Community-based ambulatory healthcare is the future of medicine in the United States and we are excited to lead the way. Our program will provide the highest quality education in a real world setting to improve the health disparities of our community's most vulnerable patients," said Gordon.

Applicant's seeking more information can contact Sarah Davis, Family Medicine Residency Program Coordinator, at 619-515-2381 or visit www.fhcsd.org.

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