On March 20, Florida Hospital announced a $2 million gift to support the Florida State University College of Medicine’s educational program in Orlando.
The gift will establish the Florida Hospital Endowed Fund for Medical Education to help the College of Medicine support its faculty of more than 550 experienced physicians from the Orlando medical community.
“A medical school with our unique, community-based curricular design requires outstanding, dedicated clinical partners if excellence in educating the next generation of Florida’s physicians is to be assured,” said Dr. Michael Muszynski, dean of the medical school’s Orlando Regional Campus.
“The teaching model offered by Florida State University’s College of Medicine is an excellent and highly effective approach to growing Florida’s much needed future physician population,”said Lars Houmann, president and CEO of Florida Hospital. “From a resource and efficacy standpoint, the community-based clinical training approach directly aligns with the requirements of a 21st century health care model.”
Third- and fourth-year students at the FSU College of Medicine’s Orlando campus – celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – receive their clinical training in community settings across the area. They work directly with local physicians in a one-on-one apprenticeship-style model. The approach is meant to give students more involvement on the frontlines of the health-care delivery system where the vast majority of patients seek care.
Instead of operating a teaching hospital or academic medical center the FSU College of Medicine partners with hospitals, medical centers, health clinics and physician offices throughout the state. It ensures students a chance to work directly with the most experienced physicians in the community and gets them more involved in patient care.
Florida Hospital supported the creation of the FSU College of Medicine during the legislative process and became one of its affiliates in 2002, just before the Orlando campus welcomed its first group of students.
“We find the mission of the College of Medicine, to produce physicians who would focus upon primary care and seek to increase access for citizens who live in underserved areas, to be very compatible to our own history and mission,” said Rich Morrison, regional vice president of government and public affairs at Florida Hospital.
The College of Medicine operates other regional campuses in Daytona Beach, Fort Pierce, Pensacola, Sarasota and Tallahassee. In addition, there are rural training sites in Immokalee and Marianna.
Physicians in the Orlando medical community are responsible for teaching students who are completing required clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, surgery, emergency medicine, psychiatry or geriatrics and through other electives.
“Now that we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of our Orlando campus, we appreciate this generous gift as an acknowledgement of that relationship and a great help to us to support and sustain the quality leadership, faculty and programs there in the future,” said Dr. John P. Fogarty, dean of the FSU College of Medicine.
The Orlando campus started with a small group of third-year students in 2003 and now regularly has 20 third-year and 20 fourth-year students. The campus building on East Colonial Drive is a home base where a longitudinal doctoring course is taught, but students spend most of their time out in the community seeing patients and learning from their physician-teachers.
The College of Medicine graduated its first class in 2005. More than three-quarters of the college’s 567 alumni are completing residency or fellowship training. Of the 81 alumni physicians now practicing in Florida, 70 percent are providing primary care.
Currently, 13 alumni are practicing in the Orlando area and 37 are completing residencies or fellowships in Orlando. Additionally, 13 members (12 percent) of the 113-member Class of 2013 have matched with residency programs in Orlando, including five at Florida Hospital. Those students are scheduled to graduate in May and begin their residency training in July.