Job fair aims to keep medical residents in Lima

LIMA — Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center hosted a job fair for medical residents Tuesday in an effort to keep young physicians in the Lima area after they complete their training.

The health system is now training 83 residents, who met with representatives from St. Rita’s and other regional healthcare providers like Lima Memorial Health System, Health Partners of Western Ohio and Blanchard Valley Health System as they prepare for life after residency.

“Residency goes quick,” said Dr. Matthew Owens, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health-Lima. “It’s three years of rapid learning and all of a sudden, you’re ready to find your real job for the future.”

While St. Rita’s has long taught podiatry and pharmacy residents, the health system has expanded its residency programs in recent years to recruit more physicians to Lima through its newer family medicine, emergency medicine and internal medicine programs.

St. Rita’s has also expanded its medical education to high school and medical students, most recently through a forthcoming partnership with The Ohio State University Medical School to train medical students in Lima.

“What the residency programs do is allow us to have a big pool of folks who are trained in the area,” said Traci Cox, a physician recruitment liaison for Mercy Health-Lima.

The residents who stay are often ready to settle down with their families, Cox said.

“So if they get here, get started and love it, that helps us keep them,” she said. “We know we won’t be able to keep every single resident who comes out of our programs, so engaging with other hospital systems that are in our region allows us to hopefully feed them a little bit too.”