TAMPA, Fla. — Baycare is looking to help bring up the next generation of pediatricians through a new pediatrics residency program based at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.
“We’re already accepting applications, and we’ve had dozens and dozens of applicants already,” said Dr. Peter Charvat, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer. “It would not be unusual for us to have in the hundreds.”
The new program in the Tampa Bay area comes as the health care industry also works to address a projected physician shortage.
“We do not have enough training programs to really refill the pipeline of physicians that are leaving clinical practice due to retirements, burnout, stress,” said Charvat.
According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the country could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care.
Dr. Charvat explains right now, they’re seeing a lot of burnout in health care.
“Nearly 45 percent of physicians in active practice are age 55 and older, so I think we’ll see probably an exodus of clinicians due to retirement, and certainly the COVID pandemic has probably exacerbated the burnout phenomenon that we’re seeing,” said Dr. Charvat.
He says one strategy to address that burnout is by increasing the pipeline of young physicians entering practice, and Charvat says it’s common upon graduation that residents will stay in the community where they trained.
“Among other things, it might help retain some of our attending physicians here because they’re eager to teach, and I think it really keeps us all on that trajectory of clinicians of the learning environment and really eager to stay cutting edge in our field,” said Dr. Charvat. “I think one thing that we might see that it possibly will support our current physicians by really adding to their current practice, the ability to teach what they’ve learned over the years and to really share their knowledge, and hopefully keep them practicing a bit longer than they otherwise would have.”
The three-year program will welcome the first class of eight residents next July.