TAMP, FL. – The country faces a shortage of 124,000 doctors by 2034. In Florida, there is already a growing need for pediatricians, which is likely to get worse.
BayCare will soon train the next generation of pediatricians. Located at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, applications are now being accepted for a brand new Pediatrics Residency Program.
“We knew with the aging physician population and with those expected to leave in the future, we would need a strong pediatric base to continue meeting the needs of the community,” said Dr. Andrew Fink, Designated Institutional Official for BayCare.
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Thousands of doctors will retire in the coming years, leading to a growing need for pediatricians in the Sunshine State.
According to the American Board of Pediatrics, Florida is below the national average for pediatricians, with just 83 for every 100,000 children.
To specialize in treating children, doctors must complete a residency.
“There are more people graduating from medical school than there are currently residency slots,” Fink said.
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Fink says BayCare’s pediatric residency will help with that bottleneck, and ideally keep those pediatricians here. Research shows that residents often stay in the community where they were educated.
“Our primary focus is to continue to meet the needs of the Tampa Bay community in the future by educating the pediatricians who will care for your children’s children in the future,” he said.
Officials have eight places to fill for the very first class of residents. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has a medical team of more than 200 physicians and nearly 100 pediatric specialists who will train the group for three years.
“It’s great about medicine. And one of the highlights for many doctors is that they can pass that knowledge and education on to others,” Fink said.
The residency program starts in July.