With Indiana facing a statewide physician shortage,
Indiana University School of Medicine is working to help fill the gap with the first internal medicine residency
in southwestern Indiana to serve a 10-county region.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has approved the
IU School of Medicine Southwest Indiana Internal Medicine Residency program. The ACGME is the accreditation body for residency graduate medical education
(GME) training programs for physicians in the country.
Recruitment for the program will take place this year, with the first residents
beginning in 2020. The goal of the program is to increase access to much-needed
primary care for rural and underserved populations in southwest Indiana.
Resident physicians will complete training at
Hospital in Vincennes and
St. Vincent Evansville sites.
Good Samaritan has a large underserved primary care base in southern Indiana,
which extends almost 100 miles into four counties of southeastern Illinois.
St. Vincent is a regional care provider, with significant subspecialty
resources and a large referral population from southern Indiana, southeastern
Illinois as well as western Kentucky. Indiana ranks 39th in the nation
in physicians per capita, with many areas in southwest Indiana designated
as health professional shortage areas. The new residency program will
accept 16 categorical residents and eight preliminary interns each year—for
a total of 56 at any one time.
“We know that physicians who complete their undergraduate and graduate
training in the same communities are more likely to make personal and
professional connections there, and thus result in more physicians remaining
in the region to serve patients,” said
Robert Ficalora, MD, FACP, program director for the Southwest Indiana Internal Medicine Residency
and a professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine-Evansville.
The ACGME’s approval came with high praise from the council, which “commended the program
for its demonstrated substantial compliance with the ACGME’s institutional
and/or program requirements for graduate medical education without citations.”
The ACGME also issued an additional commendation for “a well-prepared
application that demonstrates familiarity with the program requirements
and plans for compliance including areas for growth and further development.
The new program is part of the school’s effort to increase the number
of residency positions throughout Indiana. Working with the Graduate Medical
Education Board, IU School of Medicine is leading feasibility studies
for new training programs with an emphasis on primary care, psychiatry,
emergency medicine and surgery.
IU School of Medicine–Evansville began working collaboratively with a consortium of four regional hospitals
to build a pipeline of local practicing physicians to serve the needs
of the region for decades to come. Two other residency programs recently
family medicine at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper and
psychiatry located at Good Samaritan and Deaconess Hospital. Both programs begin
in July 2019.
Elsewhere in the state, IU School of Medicine partnered with IU Health
Arnett to launch a family medicine residency in 2018.