Lakeland Regional Health Celebrates Inaugural Graduate Medical Education Class With White Coat Ceremony

June 30, 2023

Lakeland, FL –
 For over a decade, Lakeland Regional Health has been preparing to become a teaching hospital and creating robust programs to train the next generation of physicians. Wednesday afternoon, the organization welcomed 70 residents and celebrated their transition into clinical training alongside their family, friends, program leadership, and community leaders at the Bonnet Springs Event Center with a White Coat Ceremony. During the ceremony, a white coat was placed on each resident’s shoulders, signifying their entrance into the medical profession.

Lakeland Regional Health is one of the largest hospitals in the country to not have a GME program, until now. With an economic impact of $1.3 billion and supporting nearly 8,900 jobs, Lakeland Regional Health anticipates the new GME program to support an additional 350 new jobs and $48 million in economic impact.

The GME residents will be part of the organization’s strategic plan of addressing the physician shortage in Polk County. Polk County is one of the country’s fastest-growing counties. As of 2022, the ratio of patients to primary care providers in Polk County exceeded 2,000 to 1. The GME programs will work as a pipeline to bring more healthcare providers to the area.

“With calling Lakeland home, we have a responsibility and the privilege to care for the citizens of this community. We are opening new locations throughout the area, expanding the services we offer, and welcoming you, the next generation of physicians, to learn, grow, and join us in these efforts,” said Danielle Drummond, President and CEO of Lakeland Regional Health while addressing the residents at the ceremony.

Lakeland Regional Health’s Graduate Medical Education consists of seven accredited programs including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Transitional Year.

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status eight times since 2013 and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 892-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.