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The UCF College of Medicine announced yesterday that it would begin seeking recruits for its new emergency medicine residency program.

The three-year residency program, which will begin in July and feature 21 trainees, is the second graduate medical education course offered by the College of Medicine; a separate internal medicine program, which began in 2013, will host 54 residents, according to a press release.

“Residency programs are part of the promise that was made to this community and an important element in a medical school that will anchor a medical city,” said Dr. Deborah German, UCF vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine, in a press release. “If we have more residencies, we’ll have more trained doctors in our community because many doctors practice where they complete their residency programs.”

The programs are offered in partnership with Osceola Regional Medical Center and the Orlando VA Medical Center.

The emergency medicine residency was started as a means to combat a statewide deficit in both medical residents and emergency medicine physicians, according to the release. If current trends continue, the state will face a 19 percent shortfall in medical care within the next decade, according to a 2015 study.

“The supply of specialists in Florida is insufficient to provide a level of care consistent with the national average, after taking into consideration differences in the demographics and health risk factors between Florida and the nation,” according to the study.

A 2008 report by the Florida Department of Health recommended that the state expand its residency programs in anticipation of a looming physician shortage.

“To address the immediate and/or impending physician shortage in the state, the State of Florida should first pursue a policy of creating and expanding medical residency positions in the state,” according to the report.

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Bernard Wilchusky is the Editor-in-Chief of the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter @cameradudeman or email him at BernardW@centralfloridafuture.com.

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