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Hospitals fight to lure primary-care physicians

Orlando Sentinel, July 16, 2010

When Jessica Klieger applied to 100 different residencies as a medical student last year, she had the pick of the litter. Eighty invited her for interviews, and she traveled to 15 to find the one that felt right to her: Florida Hospital. It's rare that medical students can handpick their next steppingstone, but in the cash-strapped field of family medicine, residency programs fight to capture the attention of students such as Klieger. In three years, Klieger will be one of only 77 doctors to graduate from a Florida family-medicine residency. Those programs prepare doctors to treat patients comprehensively, from babies just out of the womb to older patients struggling with end-of-life care. Florida faces the third-largest family-physician shortage in the nation. During the next decade, the state will need 1,200 to 1,800 new primary-care physicians to keep pace with its aging-population growth.