HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — The first group of residents at Forrest General Hospital have completed the residency program and passed the American Board of Family Medicine’s Family Medicine Certification Examination.
The group of five will complete the three-year Family Medicine Residency Program on June 30th.
“It is fantastic and speaks to the quality of our program that all of the residents in our first group are now board certified,” said Eric Hale, MD, Family Medicine Residency Program director. “These residents took a leap of faith to come to a new residency hoping we would offer them a good education.”
The program was created by Forrest General Hospital to respond to the growing number of primary care physicians retiring in the Pine Belt.
According to the Office of Mississippi Physician Workforce, the retirement rate has doubled over the years and 30 percent of all in-state physicians are over the age of 60.
Studies show there is a low number of physicians who stay in state after completing their residencies, resulting a shortage of family medicine doctors in Mississippi.
“After reviewing the startling data collected by the office of Mississippi Physician Workforce, it became clear that Mississippi would be facing a serious hsortage of physicians in the coming years,” said Evan Dillard, Forrest General Hospital President and CEO. “We knew it was time for Forrest General to get involved with bringing more physicians to our state.”
Dillard looks forward to the program growing over the years and would like at least 50 percent of each group of residents will choose to stay in the Pine Belt.
“At that rate, the program will help supply the community with 30 primary care physicians every ten years.”
This year, Four of the five residents in the program chose to practice in the Hattiesburg area.
“It’s an honor to become a part of Hattiesburg’s medical community,” said Kory Blackwell, MD.
Blackwell is among the first group of residents at FGH.
The program keeping residents in the area upon completion can help strengthen the relationship between doctors and patients.
“The patient will have a doctor who not only knows their health history, but also knows that individual as a person,” said Hale. “This is what makes being a Forrest General resident special.”
About Forrest General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program:
The program began in 2014 and trains physicians in different areas of the hospital as well as the clinic.
The training allows residences exposure to range of hospital specialties.
To be accepted, applicants must have graduated from an accredited United States or Canadian medical school or college or a college of Osteopathic medicine
All applicants must be eligible for a Mississippi medical license.
After applications are reviewed, the top candidates are selected for on-site interviews.
Forrest General Hospital only chooses six candidates each year to become a resident.
Forrest General will announce a new group of residents this summer.
For more information on the program, visit www.fghfamilymedicine.com or to schedule an appointment with the Family Medicine Residency Clinic, call 601-579-3300