Pictured, from left: Dr. Bridget Peters, Dr. Richard Huneycutt, Program Director Dr. Frederick Stone, Dr. Umer Farooq and Dr. Phuong Le.
A new family medicine residency program based at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital and in collaboration with Tandem Health in Sumter has recently welcomed its first four resident physicians.
A launch party event was held at Tuomey Hospital Wednesday, Aug. 28. Key leaders and community partners in establishing the residency program were recognized.
The new Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program is an important step in improving health care access in South Carolina’s rural areas. The residency program is fully accredited, and an expansion of the Prisma Health-Midlands/University of South Carolina School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program based in Columbia.
The family medicine residency is designed and located to train physicians who are specifically interested in careers as primary care providers in areas where access to medical care is limited. This new program intends its graduates to continue to serve the Sumter area, its surrounding rural communities and other South Carolina communities. The program emphasizes full-breadth family medicine and care for the underserved. “Our collaboration with Sumter's Tandem Family Health Center, a federally qualified community health center, ensures that residents will train in a community-focused practice centered on the care of the underserved. We prepare our residents to provide leadership in patient-centered medical homes, health systems, and the towns where they will practice,” said Charles Carter, MD, associate professor and director of the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Health Care.
“It’s very exciting to celebrate the beginning of the Prisma Health Tuomey Family Medicine Residency. This accomplishment results from the hard work, leadership and dedication of so many people in Sumter, Prisma Health and the USC School of Medicine. Sumter is embracing and investing in medical education, and that is part of growing a healthy community,” said Carter.
The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a total physician shortfall of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians nationwide by 2030. In South Carolina, 45 of 46 counties currently have designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
What is residency?
After completing four years of medical school and earning an MD or DO degree, physicians complete the required number of years of residency training in the specialty they choose. The number of years depends upon the specialty requirements and ranges from one to seven years of training; examples: family medicine requires three years and orthopedic surgery requires five years of postgraduate training. Once the medical degree is received and the graduate is accepted into a residency program, the licensing process begins in the state where physicians will complete residency to enable them to participate in supervised patient care before being qualified for independent practice