KISSIMMEE, Fla. – (July 5, 2016) – In the newest graduate medical education (GME) program available through a partnership between the UCF College of Medicine and Osceola Regional Medical Center, seven new doctors began their residencies in emergency medicine on July 1.

The highly selective program, which seeks to address Florida’s shortage of physician residencies, drew hundreds of applicants from across the country. A total of 21 trainees will participate over the course of the three-year program. This summer, Osceola Regional also welcomed new 21 residents in internal medicine and nine in OB-GYN specialties.

With over 80,000 patient visits a year, Osceola Regional’s Emergency Department will offer residents a wide array of opportunities to treat patients in one of the state’s most diverse and fastest-growing counties.

“Osceola County is the fastest-growing county in Florida, and having locally trained physicians in our Emergency Department will allow us to better serve our community for years to come,” said Robert Krieger, CEO of Osceola Regional Medical Center. “We are grateful that these doctors are starting their careers with us, and we look forward to supporting their professional growth.”

“This program will allow more physicians to remain in-state to complete their residencies and fellowships,” said Joel Jeffries, M.D., vice president of graduate medical education for HCA’s North Florida Division, Osceola Regional’s parent company. “We are proud to provide top-notch training and mentorship for the next generation of doctors.” “Residency programs are part of the promise that was made to this community and an important element in a medical school that will anchor a medical city,” said Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine. “If we have more residencies, we’ll have more trained doctors in our community because many doctors practice where they complete their residency programs.”

Florida ranks 42nd of the 50 states in the number of residency positions per 100,000 people, with approximately 19 resident physicians per 100,000 population.

The emergency medicine residency is part of the GME consortium between HCA’s North Florida division and UCF, which was launched in Fall 2015. Over the next five years, the consortium seeks to enroll more than 550 residents and fellows and graduate up to 150 residents per year.

About HCA’s North Florida Division

HCA's North Florida Division is a comprehensive network of 13 hospitals, numerous outpatient surgery centers & imaging facilities, physician practices, medical education and training programs and a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the healthcare needs of residents and businesses in the North Florida and Central Florida communities. HCA North Florida’s 18,000 physicians and employees continue to provide the quality foundation for delivering care to our patients safely, effectively and compassionately. Its hospitals are Joint Commission Accredited, with designations such as Accredited Chest Pain Centers, Primary Stroke Center Certification, and Level II Trauma Center in Marion, Seminole and Osceola counties.

About UCF’s College of Medicine

Established in 2006, the University of Central Florida College of Medicine is one of the first U.S. medical schools in decades to be built from the ground up. As a new medical school, UCF’s program epitomizes innovation, high-tech learning tools and a pioneering spirit to educate young doctors and scientists to be health leaders in the 21st century. The college’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, educates undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students while doing cutting-edge research in cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. The college is a leader in Orlando’s growing Medical City, a public-private partnership working to create a global health care destination just minutes from Orlando International Airport.