Each day over the next 20 years, 10,000 “baby boomers” in the United States will turn 65.
This projected trend, in large part, will lead to a demand for more medical doctors. But the irony is that the country is experiencing a physician shortage across a number of specialties. Many people say more money for residency and fellowship training will help address the issue.
The state of graduate medical education funding in Florida and across the nation was discussed at length April 9 during the keynote presentation for Medical Education Day 2015 at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
Mobeen Rathore, MD, professor and associate chair of pediatrics at UFCOMJ, led the discussion via a slideshow presentation featuring data and facts about graduate medical education (GME). Ashley B. Norse, MD, a UFCOMJ associate professor of emergency medicine, and Ralph Nobo Jr., MD, president-elect of the Florida Medical Association, served as panelists during the discussion.
Referencing slideshow projections, Rathore said that by 2025, there will be a 49 percent spike in Medicare beneficiaries. Also by that time, there will be a shortage of physicians by 130,000.
The Association of American Medical Colleges says the number of residencies nationwide needs to increase by 4,000 a year. Rathore keyed in on GME in Florida, suggesting the state needs at least $750 million in extra funding for GME to be sufficient.
“This is a challenge,” Rathore said about the shortage of residency positions available. “It’s a problem that has to be dealt with.”
Like Rathore, Nobo said residents are likely to practice in the same geographic area in which they train. That trend benefits cities such as Jacksonville; UF Health Jacksonville is one of 53 accredited GME institutions in Florida.
“These teaching hospital are a must,” Nobo said. “We understand the need to keep our students here. It’s vital for us to have those slots available.”
Sim Wars competition
Medical Education Day featured the annual Sim Wars competition, during which four teams of residents and fellows acted out emergency situations. The winning team was Ryan McKenna, DO (emergency medicine), Pamela Brownlee, DO (surgery), Song Pak, MD (anesthesiology), and Allie Bechtel, DO (pediatrics).
During each round, the teams were quickly briefed on a hypothetical medical situation and had to figure out among themselves the best way to proceed. However, the participants had no idea what would come their way via the simulation actors, who played the roles of patients, loved ones and random onlookers.
The scenarios included dealing with an inebriated, uncooperative patient who refused care; communicating a treatment error to a patient’s family member who didn’t speak English; and appropriately triaging and treating a patient with a fever who had recently traveled abroad.
“The goal is always to demonstrate effective teamwork and communication among interdisciplinary teams,” said Lisa Jacobson, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine who organized the simulations. “Other aims are to highlight the medical management of conditions that may be seen by all types of practitioners, to address ethical dilemmas in care and to demonstrate the multiple uses of simulation in education.”
Awards and accolades
A few awards were announced based off the nearly 40 educational projects on display that day in the Learning Resource Center atrium. The accolades recognize innovations and discoveries in medical education by UF faculty, residents and fellows.
- Nalini Hasija, MD, a hematology/oncology fellow (Gainesville), won Most Outstanding Poster by Trainee for her poster titled “Using Virtual Patient Simulations to Enhance Fellow Education.”
- Janice Taylor, MD, an assistant professor of surgery (Gainesville), won Most Outstanding Poster by Faculty for her poster titled “Preliminary Analysis of Resource Utilization by Third Year Medical Students in the General Surgery Clerkship.”
- Fahed Saada, MD, a neurology resident (Jacksonville), won Most Outstanding Quality Improvement Poster for his poster titled “Successful Reduction of Unnecessary Indwelling Catheter Utilization in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients at a Certified Primary Stroke Center.”
“Medical Education Day is a superb way to acknowledge and celebrate the great work being done by our terrific residents, fellows, faculty and staff,” said Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, dean of UFCOMJ. “The day was truly a great success with everything from a lively discussion about funding Graduate Medical Education, well-deserved awards and entertaining yet serious simulation competition.”