Medical students set to take residency at GSMC - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Medical students set to take residency at GSMC

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - One local hospital will have more white coats in the hallways than usual as medical students pair up with current staff members.

Grand Strand Medical Center now has an academic affiliation and on July 1st opened its Graduate Medical Education facility. Twenty-three new residents will study in the building while also putting that education into practice by working alongside doctors at GSMC.

Its part of Grand Strand Health’s Graduate Medical Education program, more commonly known as a residency program for doctors. It has taken two years to get to this point, the hospital now has a partnership with USC.

As the Chief Medical Officer, Andrew Schwartz, explained that means there will be 3rd and 4th year medical students. However, the term ‘student’ is misleading. In this case they are actually doctors with eight years of education already under their belt.

This program puts them on tract to enhance specialty skills, those skills will enhance the services available for you at Grand Strand Medical Center.

"The residents will do rotations in transplants and pediatrics. For internal medicine they’ll be doing specialties such as diabetes, geriatrics," added Dr. Schwartz.

He explained the level of care is heightened in an academic medical center.

Building a new facility and bringing in new equipment is a hefty investment. For GSMC, its about investing in the community.

"This is crucial to our community and surrounding areas," said Dr. Schwartz as he talked about the bigger picture; the hospital believes 60 percent of doctors choose to stay in the area where they do their residency.

"We’ll be 'graduating' ten residents in internal medicine every year. If six of those stay here we’ll be meeting and hopefully exceeding needs of the community. We are in physician shortage area," he pointed out. 

The work the residents do in the hospital and simulation-lab is only one aspect of the GME program. Starting on July 2nd, you'll see them also working in a brand new primary care center.

"This will be a great opportunity for patients who are seen in the hospital and don’t have a primary care physician," explained Dr. Schwartz. 

That newly renovated building will open on 82nd Parkway  and the residents will rotate within the facility seeing patients.

In addition to the medical and technical skills, the medical students will also focus on quality and patient initiatives.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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