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New Residency Program Brings Greater Accessibility to Care in the Community

From Dr. Maja Delibasic, an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, Florida State University College of Medicine and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Lee Health/Cape Coral

Beginning January 11, 2022, Southwest Florida community members will have additional access to care in Cape Coral.

A new Lee Health internal medicine residency clinic, located on Country Club Boulevard, will be opening as part of the recently announced Florida State University College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program at Cape Coral Hospital/Lee Health.

Through this new residency program and clinic, Lee Health is developing well-educated, highly trained physicians, creating greater accessibility to needed care in the community.

The program received initial accreditation in September and approval to begin recruiting its first class of residents, who are expected to begin training on July 1, 2022. The residency program, which takes three years to complete, is approved to accept 12 residents a year for a total of 36 at full capacity.

While the residency program will be based at Cape Coral Hospital, it will offer opportunities for residents to also train and see patients at the new Cape Coral Internal Medicine Residency Clinic with oversight from several faculty physicians who will begin practicing at the clinic once it opens.

The new clinic – formerly a bank – is currently undergoing extensive renovations before it opens to the public. Once complete, it will have ten exam rooms, a room for small outpatient procedures, and a designated room for vaccine administration and blood work. Plans are being made for the clinic to have a psychologist and social worker in the future.

When selecting this location, we wanted it to be close to Cape Coral Hospital so residents could easily travel back and forth, and in a location that doesn’t have a lot of physician offices, allowing us to best serve that area. That’s why we chose 1138 Country Club Blvd., located less than a mile from the hospital.

We are so excited to be in the recruitment process for the residency program. Our team has conducted virtual interviews for the program, which received nearly 1,000 applications in its first 24 hours. Match Day will take place on March 18, 2022. That’s the day when the National Resident Matching Program notifies graduating medical students across the U.S. and Canada which residency program they have been accepted into.

We are grateful for the support we have received from the Gunterberg Foundation and Physicians’ Primary Care. Their philanthropic support will help make this program one of the most desirable Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs in the country. Our hope is that the majority of the residents we train stay in Southwest Florida once they complete their residency.

FSU College of Medicine is also the academic sponsor of a family medicine residency program at Lee Memorial Hospital, a Global Health Fellowship program, and a Post-Doctoral Psychology Fellowship training program.  This will be the fourth academic teaching program Lee Health offers in partnership with the Florida State University College of Medicine.