LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Silver State needs to add 1,585 doctors to the workforce to keep up with the national average according to the Nevada Hospital Association. Currently, Nevada ranks 48th lowest in primary care physicians per person.
The Rose Dominican Internal Medicine Residency program at St. Rose is hoping to address the shortage with the addition of a categorical internal medicine residency track and a primary care track for medical residents. The location of residency programs plays a large role in where these future doctors decide to live and work. Nearly 60% stay where their residency was located.
On Friday, June 30, 12 new medical residents received their white coats, celebrating a milestone in their journey to become a doctor. “This is the first class of graduate medical education training here at the Roses and so we are honoring them with their first long white coat which is the symbol of a practicing physician,” program director Dr. Kimberly Bates explained.
The honor marks the beginning of their career and a way to address the physician shortage something which now Dr. Olivia O’Keefe knows all too well. “There’s definitely a doctor shortage here in Vegas. Even though there are just 12 of us but each year there will be more residents coming in at least that is doing something to address the shortage so I’m happy to be here to be a part of that,” Dr. O’Keefe explained.
These 12 resident doctors will spend the next three years studying in southern Nevada. 12 new residents will be added each year in 2024 and 2025 to reach the full complement of 36 residents.