HCA Healthcare, Univ. of Central Florida bring medical residency program to Big Bend region

by | Jul 13, 2022

  • HCA Healthcare and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine launched the first medical education residency in Florida’s panhandle 
  • The beginning programs include dermatology and psychiatry, with hopes that the program can expand to additional fields in the future 
  • The partnership is a continuation of HCA’s efforts to mitigate the nurse and doctor shortage in Florida


HCA Florida Capital Hospital, an affiliate of HCA Florida Healthcare, launched its first-ever graduate medical education residency program as part of a collaboration with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

The location of the residency program, Tallahassee, is facing an acute shortage of physicians. The program represents the first of its kind in the Florida panhandle, and program leaders hold ambitions to retain residents in the area to work and further their research in the state’s capital city.

“HCA Florida Capital Hospital is very excited to partner with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine to bring this new residency program to our community,” said Trey Blake, MD, Chief Medical Officer for HCA Florida Capital Hospital. “Our hospital and trained medical staff make HCA Florida Capital Hospital an ideal partner for the residents. In addition, attracting and retaining talent is key to expanding access to care and improving the health of our community. As these residents complete their training, our community and region will see economic and health benefits. We are fortunate to have the strong infrastructure necessary to create this program as well as our team of physicians who can train the next generation of caregivers.”

The first two residency programs at HCA Florida Capital Hospital are in the fields of dermatology and psychiatric medicine. The beginning group of residents is comprised of just a handful of doctors, but upon the planned expansion into additional practices of medicine, the residency aims to have 100 residents by 2027, according to the group.

“Tallahassee has been an underserved region for psychiatry for many years and this is our opportunity to give back to the community and once again train the next generation of psychiatrists,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ferraro, Director of the psychiatry residency.

The partnership continues HCA’s efforts to work alongside some of Florida’s top universities.

In June, HCA and the University of North Florida (UNF) partnered to develop a fully interdisciplinary simulation center aimed at delivering hands-on training to UNF Brooks College of Health nursing students and help meet the growing need for clinically trained healthcare and nursing professionals.

In South Florida in April, HCA announced that it will donate $1.5 million to Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences (NWCNHS) in a partnership to expand its faculty and offer scholarships to increase enrollment and help address the national nursing shortage.

“HCA Florida Healthcare and FIU have a longstanding relationship and a shared commitment to serving South Florida,” said Chuck Hall, national group president of HCA Healthcare. “We are thrilled to announce this partnership with FIU to help address the nursing faculty shortage by supporting programs that help expand the number of registered nurses qualified to teach our country’s future nurses.”


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