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AdventHealth West Florida Welcomes 48 New Doctors into Graduate Medical Education Programs

TAMPA, Fla. -- AdventHealth welcomed nearly 50 new resident doctors into its health care system with a White Coat Ceremony this afternoon, marking the start of their post-graduate training.

AH WFD White Coat 2024 Ceremony
This year, the AdventHealth West Florida Division will welcome 48 new residents into our graduate medical education programs across the Tampa Bay region.

These 48 new doctors, who just graduated from medical school, will train with top experts in various Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs at AdventHealth’s West Florida Hospitals. AdventHealth’s West Florida Division offers many GME programs, including new ones such as general surgery and OB/GYN track at AdventHealth Tampa, and a Family Medicine Residency Program at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel.

The White Coat Ceremony took place today, Friday, June 21, from 2 PM to 4 PM at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, located at 510 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602. During the first part of the ceremony, the new residents received their white coats, symbolizing their entry into the medical profession and their commitment to professionalism and empathy in medicine.

Following this, AdventHealth leaders honored the first graduating class of Family Medicine Residents from AdventHealth Sebring. These seven residents have just completed a three-year program and many of them, including Dr. Javier Correa, will continue to serve at AdventHealth Sebring, helping fill a need for more family physicians.

GME Student Dr. Javier Correa at AdventHealth Sebring Family Medicine Clinic
Dr. Javier Correa is one of the first seven graduates of AdventHealth Sebring's Family Medicine Residency program. He will continue his career as an employed physician at AdventHealth Sebring.

Sebring has really grown on me. I love the community, I love the people,” Dr. Correa said. “The residency has been nothing short of great for me. I think it’s truly like a blessing.”

Dr. Correa said it was special to be part of the first residency class, adding that he has already established relationships with many of the specialists, which he knows will be beneficial to himself and his patients.

“When it was my time to shine, when it was my time to rotate with those specialists, it was, you know, it was available to me,” Dr. Correa said. “Some of my mentors, it's good to know that I'll still be in close contact with them.”

"We believe that family physicians can handle more than 90 percent of health problems seen in the model family practice center," said Dr. Pamela Knickerbocker, program director of the AdventHealth Sebring Family Medicine Residency Clinic. "Our goal is to produce the finest family physicians to meet the growing personal and population health needs of our state and beyond."

Over the next three years, the AdventHealth West Florida division plans to graduate 88 residents through its programs at AdventHealth Sebring, AdventHealth Tampa, and AdventHealth Wesley Chapel

Graduate Medical Education programs like these help address the physician shortage in Florida, which the Florida Hospital Association projects will reach 36,000 by 2035. AdventHealth's GME programs aim to grow the physician pipeline to meet Florida’s increasing demand for doctors, particularly in rural areas and within specialties with a shortage.