The state budget the Governor signed Monday includes $1.2 million to beef up the number of medical residency slots in Georgia. It is part of a strategy to get and keep more doctors here.
Georgia ranks 41st in the nation in the number of medical residents per 100 thousand in population. Denise Kornegay, executive director of the Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Centers Network, says the funding will help add 400 new residency slots over the next four years. But she says the lack of slots is not the only issue.
“It’s a two-fold problem. One is that we don’t have the adequate number and the second problem is we don’t know why Georgia graduates are currently not staying in the slots we have.”
Kornegay says the issue is critical because Georgia is facing a shortage of primary care physicians and it’s already hurting patients.
“We’re already seeing some of that in Atlanta and other larger communities where it’s very hard to get into a practice in the area because they’re full.”
The AHEC Network will hold a primary care summit May 17th to work out how to attract more doctors to train and work in Georgia.