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UCF To Aid In Florida Doctor Shortage

A decade from now, Florida will be short 7,000 doctors. The University of Central Florida is looking to tackle some of that.

You might think that once students graduate from medical school, they can start taking patients. Not so.

They also have to complete residency programs and get certified in a specialty. And historically there hasn’t been enough funding for those positions.

But having the University of Central Florida sponsor the program would open up new federal funding opportunities.

Deborah German, dean of the medical school, says the school wants to expand the training doctors get after getting a medical degree. The residencies would focus on psychiatry, surgery and emergency medicine.

“There’s an undersupply of doctors basically across the state and we’re going to try to meet all of the needs. And those are the beginnings,” said German.

UCF President John Hitt says with the new residency programs and the current expansions, there would be slots for 275 new residents each year at the university – more slots than graduates from the UCF medical school.

“My point is if you hear that nothing’s being done about residencies, that could be true at the state level, but it is not true locally,” said Hitt.

The University of Central Florida hopes to train much-needed doctors by adding new residency programs in psychiatry, emergency medicine and general surgery. The plan is to add the new residency programs in the next five years.


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

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