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Future Doctors Focusing on the Family: June 23, 2014

Call it a perfect match: Southwest Florida needed more primary care doctors and medical residents needed a place to complete their training. The two objectives officially joined together as the Lee Memorial Health System/FSU Medical Residency Program, is up and running.

“We’re an academic practice and the patients we see, we certainly care for like any other family medicine office, but the difference here is we have resident physicians who are learning,” explains Dr. Gary Goforth, director of the Medical Residency Program.

The result of a nationwide match-making, this inaugural program welcomes six first-year residents on July 1st.  They’ll join a half-dozen residents who took an early transfer, including chief resident Kristin Miller.

“Dr. Goforth and all the other faculty, their love for family medicine is actually something that’s difficult to find,” says Dr. Miller who is completing her residency with Lee Memorial Health System.

It’s a mutual affection. Doctors-in-training bring youth; the faculty members, experience.

Adding residents brings an added dimension to this medical practice. Patients should notice a difference in the extra layer of care they receive.

“In residency we do get more time to spend with our patients. When you start your first year of residency you see about one patient per hour. That is a very beneficial time for us to learn,” Dr. Miller says.

This practice covers patients from birth ‘til death do us part’.

“Everything from pregnant patients for prenatal care. We take care of children. Of course all adults, all the way up until the geriatric population,” says Dr. Goforth.

With an aging population needing frequent medical visits, the expectation is this area will need 100 new primary care docs in the next ten years.

“Hopefully we’ll supply a few of those,” Dr. Goforth says.

By training doctors locally, who will stick around and join the family- practice.