Graduates complete LMHS’ first residency program amid shortage

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Lee Memorial Hospital is graduating the first class in its new residency program amid a shortage of doctors in Southwest Florida.

Six residents will graduate and at least three of them will stay in Southwest Florida, said Program Director Dr. Gary Goforth. Two of them will be primary care physicians.

“There is a major shortage of primary care physicians. (We) estimated about a 260-physician shortage in family medicine over the next 10 years,” Dr. Goforth said.

Goforth said the shortage of doctors can be attributed to better pay for specialists and malpractice insurance costs. His hope is that the residency program will attract more future doctors to the area.

About 1,800 medical student applied for the six spots in the hospital’s 2016 residency program. The program will expand to include eight residents next year.

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