Saint Agnes opens new residency program for young physicians

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At Saint Agnes hospital there is a growing demand for doctors, particularly in primary care. (KFSN)

At Saint Agnes hospital there is a growing demand for doctors, particularly in primary care.

"It's getting pretty severe right now," said Dr. Charles Farr.

Farr is hoping to reverse the problem. He is part of the team creating a residency program that will give young doctors a new hospital to get on the job training, right out of medical school.

"Without that, I think we would suffer even more than we are already," said Dr. Farr.

According to research from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation has been suffering for a few years. The shortage projected to hit numbers roughly between 7,300 and 43,000 by the year 2030, just in primary care.

Medical experts say the numbers are fueled by an aging population and as demand goes up -- access to health care gets more difficult.

"Oh, we could always use more primary care doctors," said Dr. Walter Egerton, Chief Medical Officer at Saint Agnes.

The hospital has never had a residency program and he says now is the time.

"I think it's not only a noble gesture but I think it's a very astute decision and I'm sure it's going to yield great benefits to the community at large," said Dr. Egerton.

"We're creating something that I think that's gonna be great for the valley, said Dr. Farr.

Saint Agnes plans to start with a class of 12 residents for a three-year program. Both doctors are hoping most, if not all will, choose to practice locally -- much longer.

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