Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program

Rome, GA

Our new intern class is settling in nicely as we start our yearly recruitment for the next academic year. We matched two students from PCOM and one from MCG, but five of the eight were born and raised in Georgia and are “back home!” We also had the opening of the Northwest Georgia Clinical Campus of MCG in August with its inaugural third year class. PCOM also has an Anchor campus here in Rome with third and fourth year students. We are happy to have these medical students here in Rome for recruiting possibilities despite the challenges for accommodating them for clinical rotations.

With all the new medical school campuses around our state and the 20-30 percent increase in their class size, those of us in GME can confirm that we are overwhelmed with the requests to accommodate these students for clinical rotations. Unless we take the fight even further and request Congress to increase the cap on DME/IME so that we can immediately allow existing residency programs to increase slots we will not be able to meet the increase in demand to keep our State’s medical students here. We have been predicting this crisis happening for some time now, but let me tell all of you that it’s here now!

Along with increasing our residency slots we need to find more Family Physicians willing to teach. We need these teaching physicians as full time faculty but also as community teaching faculty to accommodate all the clerkship students. We, as an academy, need to lobby our legislators to grant tax breaks for these teaching physicians to compensate for the decrease in their practice revenues that will occur due to their teaching responsibilities. Without excellent community clerkship teachers and excellent full time residency faculty we won’t be able to role model why family medicine is the right choice to provide the best care for the citizens of our state.

We are currently in a financial crisis as a nation but also in our state with most, if not all, of our teaching hospitals facing decreasing margins at a time when we need them to renew their commitment to increasing GME especially in primary care specialties. I ask the GAFP to lead the way in lobbying for the needed State and national dollars to support our teaching hospitals with Family Medicine Residencies. And to lead the way in identifying other sources of funding, whether with an all payer system or new and innovative sources. I am convinced we have the people in our organization to lead this debate.