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Regional Medical Center opens Pasco’s first GME


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The medical career field is one of the most respected career paths, and also requires extensive education. This year, a local hospital opened the first medical program for graduates in the county.

In July, the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point started a Graduate Medical Education program.

“About 60 to 70 percent of the graduates who graduate from a residency program stay within about 100 miles of their resident hospital,” said Mike Strobbe, the internal medicine GME director. “After a couple of classes, you have 30 to 40 residents, chances are they will be your doctor one day.”

Katie Groff, 28, transferred to Bayonet Point’s GME residency program from the Southampton Hospital’s program in New York. She is the only current second-year resident in the program.

The local GME program is an accredited internal medicine residency program with seven graduate residents.

The students learn about various internal medicine primary care fields, including cardiology, pulmonary and emergency-trauma. Every graduate spends about a month in the rotation in each department.

The residency program includes daily lectures and journal clubs that focus on a variety of medical topics, such as moderate sedation, orthopedic trauma and prevention of medical errors.

GME takes three years to complete. When the residents reach their second year, they can sleep in the hospital and stay in on-call rooms to be available around the clock.

Groff said she has benefited the most from one-on-one teaching.

“There’s just a lot of bedside teaching,” Groff remarked. “It’s a good learning opportunity for us and the patients, because there is a lot of teaching around the patients.” She believes that the enthusiasm from every employee at the hospital has helped her success in the program.

Joe Pino, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said he strongly believes in teaching the residents to show each patient sincere kindness and to “educate physicians with compassion.”

Pino added, “We want them to see a patient behind the disease.”

The resident graduate medical education center on the hospital campus has one large classroom that can be converted into three individual classes, a lecture hall for case presentations, and a resident lounge.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is at 14000 Fivay Road. The phone number is (727) 819-2929.

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