February 08, 2018 

LAWT News Service 


A new residency program in Family Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is expected to train much-needed primary care physicians who will practice in some of the most medically under-resourced communities throughout Los Angeles County and particularly, in South L.A.


Supported by $800,000 in funding approved in September 2017 by a unanimous vote of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, acting on a motion by Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor Janice Hahn, the new residency program joins a similar new Graduate Medical Education (GME) program, in Psychiatry, established at the University last year.


A Medical School Affiliation Agreement between the County Health Agency and CDU will provide the programs with ongoing support.  


The Family Medicine residency will begin with eight residents and is expected to enroll 24 by 2020.  They 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.


The new physicians are expected to help address a chronic and growing shortage of primary care physicians in California.  According to a 2017 report by the UC San Francisco Healthforce Center, all areas of the state except two (The Bay Area and Sacramento) currently have primary care physician shortages, and California is estimated to need a 32% increase in primary physicians by 2030.  The shortage is further exacerbated by an aging primary care workforce (44% of family physicians are 55 or older) and a lack of diversity (The California population is 44% African American or Latino, while only 13% of primary care physicians are African American or Latino.)


“A key principle of the CDU mission is to address health inequities in underserved communities, and we expect these new physicians to help address the shortages and diversity problems noted in the UC San Francisco study, especially in 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 in helping CDU be part of the solution to this statewide problem.”


“Primary care should be at the heart of our healthcare system,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. "We know that healthcare systems based on a strong primary care infrastructure are associated with high quality and efficient care. By establishing a Family Medicine residency program in the heart of South Los Angeles, we will create a pipeline for recruiting top primary care talent to Los Angeles County in the years ahead.”


“This is an exciting day for Rancho Los Amigos and the bright, talented students at Charles R. Drew University,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn.  “This residency program will create a new pipeline for homegrown L.A. County physicians who will learn rehabilitative medicine from world renowned experts and help Rancho Los Amigos thrive.“ 

Category: Health