The true gem of our program is the clinical training that our residents receive in the 71-bed Emergency Department. We boast a busy level II trauma service that is the only trauma center in Sarasota county and an ER that sees over 95,000 patients/year. This high volume is distributed among only 9 residents per class and in a setting where our residents have the freedom to work in the absence of surgery, anesthesia, and subspecialty residents. However, despite our high volume, the ER does not depend on resident productivity to function. Our department is fully staffed by faculty, allowing us to have a favorable resident/faculty ratio and a system that maintains resident education as the emphasis. This environment allows us to strike the perfect balance between learning on shift and seeing a high volume of patients.
Our program’s central hub for clinical training is Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH), the 839-bed flagship hospital of Sarasota Memorial HealthCare, one of the largest and most well recognized health systems in Florida. Overall, SMH is an elite hospital in the area with a comprehensive stroke center and the most comprehensive and advanced cardiovascular care in the region. Despite only having 2 residency programs (EM and IM), residents are exposed to complex pathology and cutting-edge care that is comparable to that of most academic centers in the country. A few highlights among many include:
-One of just 45 hospitals across the nation to earn the highest possible rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in every reporting period.
-One of only 57 hospitals in the nation to earn "high performer" ratings in all nine procedures and conditions evaluated in U.S. News' "Best Hospitals".
-Listed in 100 Top Hospitals in the US, named by IBM Watson Health.
One of the most important elements to a residency program is the fabric of the community that it serves. The setting of the program and the features of the community it serves will dictate the patients that come into the ER and the resources that are allocated to the hospital. In general, Sarasota is a very well-resourced community that has given rise to a well-resourced hospital and a medical community that attracts top physician talent. This dynamic gives our residents access to work in an optimal learning environment alongside sought after core faculty and off-service attendings. As a residency program, we are also afforded the luxury of generous resources so that our learners can focus on becoming the best emergency physicians that they can be. To name a few:
-Support from SMH and FSU College of Medicine
-ER maintains a 3:1 nursing ratio.
-ER pharmacists 24/7
-Social workers in the ER
-9 Sonosite ultrasound machines
-Dedicated EM conference, office, and study space
Most importantly, the comfort and wellness that we gain from being a part of this community allows us to learn from and provide better care for our sickest and most vulnerable patients. Despite being such a well-equipped hospital, SMH is our community’s public not for profit hospital owned and operated by the Sarasota County Public Hospital District. Therefore, our ER population is incredibly diverse in socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and background.
Our program allows and encourages moonlighting with ample opportunities and attending supervision available at one of our 6 affiliated urgent care centers. More opportunities are expected to become available upon completion of a new SMH hospital in Venice after the Fall of 2021.
Newer program, established leadership
In addition to a strong clinical experience, this program was built on the foundation of experienced program leadership. Our founding director, Dr. Kelly O’Keefe has over 25 years of experience as a program director across 3 programs. After successfully recruiting 2 residency classes, we have an even stronger foundation that leaves no room to question the clear upward trajectory of our program. Still, current and prospective residents have the opportunity to lead and take charge of our continued growth.
Teaching Medical Students
SMH is also the main clinical site for the Sarasota regional campus of the Florida State University College of Medicine. In addition to teaching patients, fellow residents, and staff, our program offers the opportunity to teach 3rd and 4th year medical students.