NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 1, 2019 – HCA Healthcare today welcomes 1,453 new residents and fellows into its growing graduate medical education programs, a record incoming class both for HCA Healthcare and among U.S. programs.

HCA Healthcare, a leading healthcare provider with 38,000 employed and affiliated physicians at its 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care in 21 states and the United Kingdom, now has more than 3,900 residents and fellows. It is the largest sponsor of graduate medical education programs in the U.S.

The company maintains 56 teaching hospitals in 14 states, primarily in regions with a deficit of physician training programs. Plans call to continue to grow existing programs and add new programs to accommodate as many as 7,000 residents by 2025.

In recent years, HCA Healthcare has become a significant provider of clinical education and medical education. The company, which employs 94,000 nurses, currently includes 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, the company announced plans to purchase majority ownership in Galen College of Nursing.

“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.”

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. could experience a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032. While medical school enrollment is increasing, residency slots are not keeping pace, which experts fear could create a potential chokepoint in the supply of new physicians. By adding more than 2,500 new positions since 2014, including 700 this year alone, HCA Healthcare is addressing a significant physician workforce issue because its residency programs largely are located in regions—the Southeast, across the Sunbelt and in the Inner Mountain West—where there are more medical school graduates than residency positions. This is important because about half of all physicians end up practicing in markets where they complete their training, and about two-thirds stay in the same state.

Two-thirds of all applicants in the National Residency Match Program this year applied for at least one HCA Healthcaresponsored residency program. HCA Healthcare affiliates offer a robust clinical training environment with some of the most active surgical, medical, psychiatric and outpatient teaching services in the country. HCA Healthcare affiliates’ clinical services do not depend on residents for service coverage, allowing a healthy balance between service and educational missions.

“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.”

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.

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

# Program Residents
1 Internal Medicine 1,380
2 Family Medicine 463
3 Surgery 310
4 Emergency Medicine 298
5 Transitional 259
6 Psychiatry 171
7 OB-GYN 118
8 Anesthesiology 112
9 Pediatrics 102
10 Cardiology 69

About HCA Healthcare

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, comprising 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, including surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics, in 21 states and the United Kingdom. With its founding in 1968, HCA Healthcare created a new model for hospital care in the United States, using combined resources to strengthen hospitals, deliver patient-focused care and improve the practice of medicine. HCA Healthcare has conducted a number of clinical studies, including one that demonstrated that full-term delivery is healthier than early elective delivery of babies and another that identified a clinical protocol that can reduce bloodstream infections in ICU patients by 44 percent. HCA Healthcare is a learning healthcare system that uses its more than 31 million annual patient encounters to advance science, improve patient care and save lives. Please click here to connect with HCA Healthcare on social media.

tags: education