Program in Palm Springs will receive its first eight residents in July 2015.
The UC Riverside School of Medicine residency training program in family medicine, in partnership with Desert Regional Medical Center, has received accreditation and will accept its first residents for the three-year training program in July 2015.
The program – designed and located in Palm Springs to help address the shortage of primary care physicians in the Coachella Valley – was granted accreditation in late January by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the national body responsible for post-M.D. training programs in the U.S.
Family medicine is a primary care medical specialty in which physicians provide comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages and, increasingly, coordinate patients’ care by subspecialists. It is estimated that the area of the Coachella Valley served by Desert Regional Medical Center has a 50 percent shortage of family medicine physicians.
“Family medicine will remain pivotal in addressing the health care needs of both our region and our nation,” said Dr. Gemma Kim, program director of the medical school’s family medicine residency training program in Palm Springs. “We hope to expand access and strengthen primary care in the Coachella Valley while providing personalized care of the highest quality that is patient-, family- and community-centered.”
Residents will train primarily at Desert Regional Medical Center and the UCR Health Family Medicine Center adjacent to the medical center. The three-year program will enroll eight residents each year, meaning there will be a total of 24 residents when the family medicine program is fully developed. Eight family physicians will graduate from the residency program each year starting in 2018.
“The approval of the UCR residency program at Desert Regional Medical Center is such an exciting event for our hospital, as we continue to grow as an academic medical center,” said Carolyn Caldwell, president and chief executive officer of Desert Regional Medical Center. “The physician faculty of UCR Health have already provided a wonderful resource to patients through the primary care offices they have opened on our campus. They are already making a difference in helping to solve the primary care physician shortage in our valley.”