Four years ago, HCA Healthcare began a journey to tackle the U.S. physician shortage head-on by directly training the next generation of practicing doctors. We began by building a network of new graduate medical education (GME) training programs, where newly-minted doctors could complete their medical training and most importantly, take great care of our patients.

Today, we are pleased to announce that 1,453 new residents and fellows have joined the HCA Healthcare family. This marks the largest group to ever onboard at HCA Healthcare and the highest number among other healthcare systems in the nation.

HCA Houston Healthcare welcomes the inaugural group of 39 residents to the family with its University of Houston College of Medicine partnership. Photo credit: Marscel Harris-Parker

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, our nation could face a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032, due to an increased healthcare demand from a growing and aging population, and an inadequate supply of doctors.  While medical school enrollment is increasing, residency slots are not keeping pace, which could result in more than 1,000 M.D. medical school graduates without a residency program.

At HCA Healthcare, we are committed to addressing this challenge by creating more opportunities for residents and fellows to complete their training.

“Our growth in clinical and medical education reflects our commitment to use our scale and expertise to meet our needs and those of the communities we serve,” said Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare. “It is vitally important for the communities we serve that their medical school graduates have access to quality residency programs, and we’re pleased that we are helping address this need.”

HCA Healthcare is the largest sponsor of graduate medical education programs in the U.S. We train nearly 4,000 residents and fellows across 56 teaching hospitals in 14 states, primarily in the Southeast, across the Sunbelt and in the Inner Mountain West regions, where there is a shortage of residency positions.  Over the next five years, we expect to accommodate as many as 7,000 residents, with a positive impact on patient care in our hospitals.

The incoming class of GME residents at affiliate Coliseum Medical Centers pose for a “group selfie” at their white coat ceremony.

Already, our efforts in GME are reflected in the number of applications we receive. Of this year’s U.S. medical school graduates, as tallied by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), nearly 74% of all applicants applied to one or more HCA Healthcare residency programs. Also, the quality of our graduating residents and fellows is evident by their scores and specialty board passage rates, which meet or exceed the national average.

“Our residents tell us that the culture and community they find in our programs is one of the primary reasons why they chose to complete their training at an HCA Healthcare hospital,” said Dr. Michael Cuffe, president of HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group. “We pride ourselves on creating programs that celebrate teamwork and collaboration.”

HCA Healthcare acomprising of 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care in 21 states and the United Kingdom offer a robust clinical training environment with some of the most active surgical, medical, psychiatric and outpatient teaching services in the country.

Cuffe noted that the diversity of HCA Healthcare facilities enhances training opportunities. “If a trainee needs more advanced experiences, they can often find them in one of our sister hospitals in the same community,” he said.

As part of the University of Central Florida graduate medical education consortium, psychiatric residents join affiliate Osceola Regional Medical Center.

HCA Healthcare residents will train with our dedicated, patient-focused physician teams, who will inspire and challenge them to improve more lives in more ways.  Their training will extend across specialty programs that also face significant physician shortages, including surgery, cardiology, psychiatry and neurology.

Ana Benitez, MD, one of the residents who will start working in internal medicine at HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood, is excited about beginning the next phase of her training.

“I’m looking forward to learning about all of the latest treatments,” she said. “I’m also eager to learn how to interact with patients and handle difficult situations.”

Benitez, who has been living in New York City, is also “happy to be leaving all of my winter clothes behind!”

Currently, HCA Healthcare has GME training programs in 54 different specialties and will be adding numerous subspecialty fellowships and additional programs to meet the needs of its communities in the coming years. The 10 top programs this year are:

Program

# Residents
Internal Medicine 1,380
Family Medicine 463
Surgery 310
Emergency Medicine 298
Transitional 259
Psychiatry 171
OB-GYN 118
Anesthesiology 112
Pediatrics 102
Cardiology 69

 

These young doctors who have expressed a desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves, now have the opportunity to truly champion our mission to care for and improve human life. Please join us in welcoming our new residents and fellows as they enter the HCA Healthcare graduate medical education programs today!

New residents at affiliate Riverside Community Hospital celebrate with a group dinner.

HCA Healthcare has become a significant provider of clinical education and medical education, including the addition of more than 2,500 new residency positions since 2014, including 700 this year alone. Additionally, our organization, which employs 94,000 nurses, provides clinical education opportunities with Research College of Nursing and Mercy School of Nursing and has four advanced nursing simulation training centers, with plans to have 20 by the end of next year. Earlier this year, HCA Healthcare announced plans to purchase majority ownership in Galen College of Nursing.

Visit here to learn more about our graduate medical education training programs.