Banner Health, University of Arizona tackle physician shortage by expanding medical program

Jun 25, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: 8:33 am

Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix (Banner Health Photo)...

Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix (Banner Health Photo)

(Banner Health Photo)

PHOENIX — With the state in need of physicians, Banner Health and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix have expanded their graduate medical education programs.

According to a press release, the initiative will expand three programs in 2024 and build 16 new programs by 2027, growing the number of specialty-trained physicians through the partnership by more than 60 percent.

The additional 229 residency and fellowship positions will help to alleviate a physician shortfall that is projected to rise to 3,600 physicians by 2030.

“This is the culmination of a vision developed in concert with our partners at Banner Health aimed at shrinking our state’s health care workforce shortage,” Dr. Dean Guy Reed said.

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, formerly Banner Good Samaritan, has supported the advanced training of physicians through residency and fellowship programs for more than 60 years.

Through this partnership, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix serves as the academic sponsor of Banner’s Phoenix-based graduate medical education program, which provides clinical training and resources for more than 340 residents and fellows across 29 accredited specialty programs.

“Recognizing that most doctors choose to practice medicine where they were trained, we are excited to advance this opportunity to bring new physicians to Arizona who will hopefully remain in the region to care for our population,” said Dr. Michael Kupferman, senior vice president of physician enterprise and president of the Banner – University Medicine division.

With more than 140 new family medicine and internal medicine resident positions coming to Banner Payson Medical Center, Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, Banner Health will increase access to primary care training within the state. Currently, Arizona ranks 44th among the 50 states in primary care physicians per capita.

In addition, new programs in anesthesiology, dermatology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and otolaryngology will be introduced. The expansion plan also includes increasing the number of neurology and surgery residency positions. Collectively, these specialties will welcome 64 residents.

The new fellowship offerings will allow 21 fellows to train across seven new programs. In a later phase, further residency programs may be developed.

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Banner Health, University of Arizona tackle physician shortage by expanding medical program