In early 2021, Memorial Hospital attained initial accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to establish its first Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program in Family Medicine.
GME begins after students graduate from medical school with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Residents then match into existing residency programs around the United States. Completing the residency training leads to the physician sitting for their specialty’s board exam to become board-certified and an independently practicing physician with a full medical license.
The mission of the Memorial Hospital Family Medicine program is to build healthier communities by improving care for the region’s most vulnerable populations. The residency will accomplish this goal through training and graduating well-balanced, compassionate physicians who are willing and dedicated to practicing the highest level of medicine.
“We are extremely excited to begin our Family Medicine residency program at Memorial. Everyone benefits when residency programs are started because resident physicians bring their questioning attitudes, training, and passion to our hospitals and communities. There is clear evidence that residents positively impact healthcare outcomes for patients and our most vulnerable populations. Our faculty, staff, and leadership are prepared to start training our inaugural class of Family Medicine residents on July 1,” said Memorial Hospital GME Designated Institutional Official, Gretchen Holmes, Ph.D.
There is a significant economic impact to sponsoring a residency program, including job creation, stronger hospitals and research. Memorial will have a direct impact on residency education and training especially, as this program answers a growing call to increase residency programs in states with poor health outcomes, such as Mississippi, which currently has 40 accredited programs and 759 residents. According to the 2019 State Physician Workforce Data Report, there is a physician shortage in Mississippi. The state ranks 49th for having 65.9 active primary care physicians per 100,000 people.
Memorial Hospital has been the premier medical center for the Mississippi Gulf Coast for almost 75 years, offering more than 300 physicians on its medical staff. Specialty providers offer comprehensive, progressive services and care to a thriving community. Memorial was named a best regional hospital in the Coastal Region of Mississippi for 2020-21 in the annual ranking of hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Memorial has also been named a five-star recipient for carotid procedures for 2021 from Healthgrades and was a five-star recipient in 2020 for spinal fusion surgery.
Applications for the program will be available through ERAS, and Memorial Hospital will begin interviewing candidates in the coming weeks. Residents will begin rotations on July 1, 2021.
Future goals for Memorial Hospital GME include an Internal Medicine program.