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St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

Advancing Excellence

Jul 21 2014
Bottlenecks in Training Doctors

Last week a physician stopped me to say he was moving to Florida; it's time to be closer to his children. My heart sank. He is a kind, caring physician, and someone who reflects our values. I am sorry to see him go. It's a conversation I seem to be having more frequently with members of our medical staff. 

Today's New York Times editorial reflects the same concern, and questions how we will as quickly as possible recover from the coming "greying" of America and its impact on clinical providers. But expanding training slots must be combined with regional incentives.

We are working hard to train primary care providers, and to help them stay in Central New York. Our Family Medicine Residency has graduated more than 450 physicians, and each year we offer loan repayment and work to keep as many as we can in Central New York.

We need help from our State and Federal leaders to expand loan repayment programs, tax incentives and other opportunities to enhance our recruitment in Central New York and our rural communities. The restrictions on the number of physicians with visas must also be changed. 

We are losing to states and systems who are offering substantial loan repayment, and if we want to maintain an important part of our economic base and good access to care, we must be competitive.

We are actively discussing these issues with our State and Federal officials and hope to see progress in this year's legislative sessions.

 St. Joseph's Family Medicine Residency is the largest one of its kind east of the Mississippi.
Pictured above is this year's class at the annual retreat.


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