The ECCL supports these and other efforts to attract the best talent in healthcare to south Lee County.
On Match Day, Friday, March 16, the eight, new, first-year, family medicine residents who will be completing their training at Lee Health were revealed by The Florida State University College of Medicine Family Residency Program. Our new residents include:
·         Kathleen “Katie” Dixon from Lake Mary, Fla.
·         Jerry Lanza from Belize
·         Tatianna Pizzutto from Clearwater, Fla.
·         John Schmidt from Hattiesburg, Miss.
·         Miri Shlomi from Orange, Ohio
·         Diana Sitar from Las Vegas, Nevada
·         Tyler Spradling from Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
·         Renee Wong from Toronto, Canada
“This is the sixth year of our residency program, and we have built a strong reputation as a place to train and the interest in our program is proof of that,” explains Gary Goforth, M.D., Founding Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Lee Health. “This year, we received about 1,800 formal applications and more than 200 requests for information. We interviewed 65 applicants and filled all eight of our positions through the National Residency Matching Program.”
In addition to the high level of interest and significant number of applications, Dr. Goforth says the caliber of residents is high and those we were matched with are academically strong. “They are high-scoring, bright, passionate doctors,” he says. “Our new residents for the class of 2021 are interested in caring for the underserved; and many of them are also interested in global medicine.” Last year, the local program was approved to expand from 18 to 24 residents; this is the first class of eight, first-year residents at Lee Health.
Since the program started in 2012, and including our 2018 graduates, 18 doctors will have graduated from The Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Lee Health. So far, Dr. Goforth says all of the graduates of our program have passed the American Board of Family Medicine board certification exam on their first attempt. And, the majority of the graduates (13 of the 18 or 68%) practice medicine in the Fort Myers/Naples area. Two graduates of the residency program were accepted into fellowship programs with one planning to return to the area to practice medicine following his fellowship.
Statistically about 60% of residents will practice medicine in the same area in which they were trained. We’re seeing that with our program, and that was the goal—to help abate primary care physician shortages in our area.
It is our honor and duty as a safety net hospital system to help train the next generation of doctors who will hopefully stay in our area to continue our tradition of caring for our community. Please join me in welcoming our new resident physicians.
Yours in Health,
Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA
President & CEO, Lee Health