St. Rita’s welcomes first family medicine residency class


By Tara Jones - tjones@limanews.com



LIMA — A new group of six residents will be coming to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center in July as part of the first class of Family Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program.

The announcement came as part of the National Resident Matching Program Match Day. The program will host the six residents for three years. Next year a new group of six will be introduced into the program, and the class will expand to 18 each year after that.

Kevin Casey, DO, regional chief clinical officer for Mercy Health, said this program not only allows exposure to excellence for the residents, but also for the Lima community.

“First, it will improve access for patients,” he explained. “There’s no secret there’s a physician shortage, so bringing more to the area will be able to open access and allow to see more patients in a timely manner.

“Residencies have also been known to improve quality of care given,” Casey added. “We already give excellent care, so this will only improve the already excellent level of quality care we give. Patient experience of care goes up when you have residencies as well. There’s an increase in quality and access to care improvement across the board.”

The residents will be seeing their own patients with oversight and running a variety of rotations to get the best exposure possible working in family medicine. Each physician will have graduated from medical school and is required to continue their clinical training through a residency.

In 2020, the first Internal Medicine Residency class will be welcomed.

“The accreditation has been approved for this residency for next year that will be 36 residents,” Casey said. “With the addition of the Emergency Medicine Residency and General Surgery Residency in the next five years, we anticipate having a little over 100 residents in Lima every year.”

St. Rita’s currently offers residencies in podiatry and pharmacy. When screening each new class, part of the interview process also took into consideration cultural fit.

“Our intent was to choose people who not only had demonstrated intelligence through test scores and good character, but people who we thought would be a good fit for the community,” Casey explained. “A well run residency can keep an average of 40 percent to stay in the community … the goal is to get them acclimated and connected with Lima so they can’t think of leaving when the residency is over.”

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By Tara Jones

tjones@limanews.com

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.

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