WellStar Kennestone Hospital has begun the process of becoming an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency training site.
A growing need for more physicians, particularly primary care physicians, is evident when looking at the aging population and the anticipated demand for wellness and prevention services found in the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the need for residency training positions has dramatically increased as medical schools across the country have increased their class size and new medical schools have opened.
Georgia is a net exporter of medical school graduates, most of whom will practice close to where they do their residency training outside of Georgia. Georgia’s medical schools have increased their enrollments over the past five years, yet the number of residency training positions has not kept pace with the increased class size.
After a site visit to Kennestone, the ACGME New Program Committee approved the hospital’s application for Institutional Accreditation in October. This approval sets the stage for the development of each of the six planned programs. Programs are currently being planned in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and the transitional year.
The transitional year is a one-year general program that prepares physicians for specialty training in areas such as Radiology. If all deadlines are met and programs approved, Kennestone will see its first residents in July 2016. When all programs are completely staffed in 2021, there will be 70-80 residents on site at Kennestone and in primary care offices connected to Kennestone’s family practice and internal medicine programs.
As part of the ramp-up to residency training WellStar’s Student Affiliations office will increase the number of medical students who do clinical rotations at WellStar hospitals and physician practices.