Bayhealth’s residency program will benefit all
News of the coronavirus pandemic and political wrangling often overshadows positive developments in our local communities.
Such is the case with the medical residency program being instituted by the Bayhealth organization to address physician shortages in Kent and Sussex counties. With rapid growth, especially in Sussex, the long-recognized shortages are only growing more acute.
Medical residency programs partner medical school graduates with experienced physicians to give new doctors – under the umbrella of an established healthcare facility – important real-world training for practical application of their medical school education. The three-year programs amount to advanced, graduate-level medical education. When finished, the residents will have had the kind of intense experience that leads to high-quality, long-term healthcare.
The new Bayhealth residency program is focusing on training primary care physicians with an emphasis on mental health, obesity and addiction issues rampant in our communities. The program will also train physicians interested in internal medicine specialities practiced within hospital settings.
Bayhealth is interviewing hundreds of candidates for its first class of residents, scheduled to begin in July 2021. That class will include eight primary care resident doctors and 13 internal medicine doctors. That’s 21 new doctors serving downstate communities in the first year of the program, working side by side with experienced doctors in clinical settings, receiving advanced education in academic facilities being prepared by Bayhealth in Kent and Sussex, adding thousands of patient visits each year. That number is expected to double and triple over the course of the three-year residency program.
“That will help ease the burden on many physicians who start experiencing burnout over time in underserved areas, as well as help address situations associated with practices shifting to concierge service,” said Dr. Brintha Vasagar, who is leading Bayhealth’s primary care physician program.
It’s expected that at least half of the physicians will ultimately choose to stay in this area, whether with Bayhealth or other local healthcare networks such as Beebe.
This is all good news for a system of regional healthcare providers all in need of more doctors.