Safety Net Hospital Alliance Touts 721 New Physician Training Slots Amidst Doctor Shortage Crisis

Safety Net Hospital Alliance Touts 721 New Physician Training Slots Amidst Doctor Shortage Crisis

A healthcare organization is taking on the doctor shortage crisis by adding 721 new physician training slots

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 23, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Prompted by Florida's dwindling medical workforce, a healthcare organization providing specialized training and care announced Tuesday the groundbreaking creation of 721 new graduate physician training slots.

“Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the US and we have an urgent need for more doctors to care for our residents," said Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida's President Lindy Kennedy in a press release.

The Alliance oversees and advocates for the state's 14 safety net hospitals, which cater to uninsured and Medicaid patients whose treatment costs aren't fully covered.

"Expanding the graduate medical education (GME) doctor training pipeline is by far the best way to head off the looming doctor shortage crisis," Kennedy added.

As of 2021, 92% of Florida nursing centers faced staffing issues, and according to the Florida Hospital Association, the state is expected to have a shortage of 59,000 nurses by 2035.

The Florida Medical Association reports that by the same year, the Sunshine State will also have a shortage of nearly 18,000 physicians, 6,000 traditional primary care specialists, and over 1,5oo emergency room physicians.

These staggering numbers, coupled with Florida's booming population growth—between 2020 and 2023, residency exploded by over one million people—spell out a crisis in the making for Floridians' health.

That said, the Safety Net Alliance's job creation is a massive step in the right direction. The press release says their hospitals train "the bulk" of Florida's physicians, thanking UF Health Shands and Jackson Health System for financing the statewide GME Startup Bonus Program.

Created in 2016, the program allocates $100 million under the Agency of Health Care Administration to hospitals with newly approved residency positions. Since its inception, hospitals statewide have added GME to their services and thus created a total of 2,505 new doctor training slots.

"The creation just this year of 721 new slots is a clear reflection of not only the ongoing efforts of our members but the reinvigorated emphasis placed on GME by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo," the press release reads, applauding Passidomo's  "Slots for Docs" funding allocated over the past two legislative sessions, which provides funding to create new residency positions throughout the state.

In addition to "Slots for Docs", Passidomo also spearheaded a "Live Healthy" package during the 2024 Legislative Session. Signed into law by Governor DeSantis last month, the healthcare reform initiative expands training programs for healthcare workers and provides funding for healthcare research, production, and technology.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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