Tuesday, July 29, 2008

N.C. has an edge in medical training

It's a good feeling (being a Raleigh resident) and knowing that such wonderful health care facilities are nearby. However, the truth may be that highly-trained medical practictioners are staying in North Carolina as a whole -- not just the urban/metro areas.

"Several of the new medical residents who picked New Hanover Regional Medical Center for their training cited the smaller, hands-on program, respected faculty members and new facilities about to open as draws for applying," said this article in the Wilmington Star-News.

"But, once their training is complete, will they stay and continue practicing here? ...

"With warnings that growth in North Carolina’s population will outpace that of its doctors in coming years, retaining residents has become a major point of discussion among some health groups in the state. ...

"Of the nearly 18,400 active physicians in North Carolina, about 6,600 doctors did their residency in the state and stayed, according to the N.C. Health Professions Data System."

The location of their medical schools also plays a role in where doctors end up, though it’s less of a factor in North Carolina than residency location.

Among the state’s active physicians, nearly 27 percent graduated from one of the four medical schools in North Carolina, figures from the N.C. Health Professions Data System show.

Experts say states that have combined medical schools and residencies within their borders have significantly better chances of retaining doctors.

“The more contacts that the physicians have with the state in terms of medical and GME (graduate medical education), the more likely they are to practice in the state,” said Clese Erikson, director of workforce for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Center for Workforce Studies.

Then, two-thirds of them, 66 percent, are likely to stay in that state. North Carolina is pretty much a similar comparison to the national average,” Erikson said.

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