Carper gets update on Beebe residency program

R. Randall Rollins Center for Medical Education will welcome students this year
February 13, 2023

Sen. Tom Carper and staff members got an in-person update on the family medical residency program at Beebe Healthcare during a Feb. 3 tour.

The R. Randall Rollins Center for Medical Education will be housed in the renovated Shaw Building on Savannah Road in Lewes, which was Beebe's first hospital in 1921. The renovation was possible thanks to a $3 million gift from the Ma-Ran Foundation.

Its first class of four residents will begin the three-year program this July. The clinical campus will give third-year medical students from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine hands-on clinical experiences to fulfill their educational requirements for medical school.

Residents will see patients at the Beebe Family Practice facility in Long Neck as they pursue a diverse range of specialties, including emergency medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary, pediatrics, intensive care, geriatrics, palliative, orthopedics, ophthalmology, urology and sports medicine.

Beebe staff leading the program have been working for three years to institute the residency program. From a list of 505 applicants, they interviewed 72 to fill the four slots in the first year of the program. On March 17, the residents will be selected.

“March 17 will be a big celebration day for us,” said Beebe President and CEO Dr. David Tam. “We are doing all we can to bring trained physicians and providers into the community. There is a tremendous need because of growth in the area and particularly in the older population.”

Dr. Jeffrey Hawtof, director of medical education, said the Beebe program is unique in offering obstetrics.

“We realize family physicians do a lot more here,” he said.

It's hoped the residents will choose to remain in the area when they graduate from the program. Nationwide, about 50% of residents remain in the area where they receive training.

“If they choose to work here, they will already have a panel of patients,” Hawtof said.

Tam said the possibility of more residency programs at Beebe is possible over the next five years. “We need to grow our own physicians,” he said.

The medical education center is also available for training of current medical staff.

Staffing is a challenge

Carper and his staff asked what they could do for Beebe.

Tam said helping to address the staffing shortage is the top issue facing the hospital. “We are ... over capacity. Our biggest challenge is to stabilize our work force. We have a goal of hiring 200 to 250 providers over the next three years,” he said.

And, he added, because of the growth in the area, the need for healthcare workers will only increase. “We need to support our students who live here and turn them into healthcare workers,” he said.

Beebe is largest employer in the county with more than 3,000 employees.


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