South L.A. Medical School Gets Approval For $800,000 In Funding Expected to Increase Number of Physicians Practicing in Underserved Areas of L.A.

Categories // LA Focus Saturday, 09 September 2017

South L.A. Medical School Gets Approval For $800,000 In Funding Expected to Increase Number of Physicians Practicing in Underserved Areas of L.A.

Two new residency programs, in Psychiatry and Family Medicine, at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), are expected to turn out physicians who will practice in some of the most medically under-resourced communities of Los Angeles.

      The L.A. County Board of Supervisors, acting on a motion by Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor Janice Hahn, approved $800,000 in funds to develop the new residency programs at CDU.  A Medical School Affiliation Agreement between the County Health Agency and CDU will provide the programs with ongoing support.   
      The Psychiatry residency is scheduled to begin in July 2018.  The Family Medicine program is anticipated to open at the same time pending final approval.  The Family Medicine residency will begin with eight residents and is expected to enroll 24 by 2020.  The Psychiatry residency will begin with four residents and is expected to enroll 16 by 2021.
      The Psychiatry residents will focus on ambulatory services in communities that comprise the County’s Service Planning Area 6, which includes Athens, Compton, Crenshaw, Florence, Hyde Park, Lynwood, Paramount and Watts. Family Medicine residents will do their inpatient work at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey and outpatient rotations at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center in Willowbrook.
      “This ‘new generation of physicians’ will be a significant addition to the underserved communities of South L.A. and to CDU’s mission to address health inequity in those communities, as the residents will focus on providing care throughout Service Planning Areas (SPAs) 6 and 7,” said Charles R. Drew University President David M. Carlisle, MD.  “We are grateful to Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Hahn for their leadership on this issue and to all the L.A. County Supervisors for their support.”
      “The University is dedicated to developing a culturally competent workforce,” said CDU College of Medicine Dean Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD.  “With these new residency programs, we look forward to recruiting students from the community who will, in turn, become practitioners in those same under-resourced areas.  Studies show that 80 percent of our students return to practice in underserved communities after graduation.”
      “Nationwide, we have a shortage of primary care clinicians, and the need is particularly acute in the communities surrounding the University,” Board Chairman Ridley-Thomas said. “I am hopeful that many of these trainees will opt to practice locally upon their graduation.”

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