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The 10 residents graduated from the Graduate Medical Education Residency program on June 18 at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

Ten residents graduated from the Graduate Medical Education Residency program on June 18 at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.

This is the hospital’s first graduating class.

WellStar created the GME Residency program in 2016, to train the physicians of tomorrow and combat Georgia’s severe shortage of physicians. As the state’s population continues to age and expand, new data published by the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce indicates that Georgia will experience an overwhelming shortage of more than 2,500 physicians by the year 2020 without immediate state action.

“The WellStar GME Residency Program is part of our vision for the future,” said Dr. Val Akopov, senior vice president of WellStar Medical Group and director of the WellStar GME Program. “Although the data on the physician shortage in Georgia and around the nation are startling, we are proud that our residency program is training some of the most knowledgeable and compassionate physicians in Greater Atlanta and beyond. Our program covers many of the practice areas that will best serve our growing and aging population, including emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and palliative care.”

The GME Residency Program is offered at WellStar Kennestone Hospital and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center.

WellStar Kennestone’s inaugural class of 10 residents underwent three years of intense on-the-job training and dozens of rotations through various medical disciplines. Seven of the 10 graduating residents have accepted positions within WellStar Health System.

For more information, visit wellstar.org.

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