ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A state report says Georgia is on track to exceed its goal for expanding opportunities for young doctors. But the state still lags behind national averages for medical residents.
The residency program is designed to train graduates from medical schools at Phoebe in all the different specialties.
George Fredrick, Family Residency Program Director with Phoebe, said right now there are eight first-year residents, seven second-year residents and five third-year residents.
Fredrick said it’s a mission to build up the health care providers in South Georgia.
“We have been fairly successful in getting about 60 percent of graduates in the program to stay within 60 miles of the training program around Albany itself," explained Fredrick.
Phoebe’s residency program is working to increase the number of residents to eight in each class.
But the AJC reports that rural medical residencies remain scarce.
Fredrick explained it’s challenging to get residents to come to Southwest Georgia.
First, he looks at where applicants went to medical school, if it was somewhere within the state that’s a selling factor.
Second, he looks to see if they have some sort of connection to Georgia or this region.
“We have done a very good job of bringing young doctors in and having a fair amount of those stay within the area," stated Fredrick.
The Associated Press said last year Georgia had about 21 medical residencies per 100,000 state residents while the national average is 34.
For this upcoming year, Fredrick says there’s been 1,300 applications, 70 of those will be interviewed as potential candidates making Phoebe’s program very competitive.
Of course at the end of the three years residents have to pass a certification examination.
Fredrick says the residency program has been around for 25 years.