The Medical Center celebrates expansion of the Graduate Medical Education Program

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - What started as a small idea in 2014 has grown into a leading teaching facility teaching future healthcare providers in Kentucky.

Thursday, the Medical Center cut the ribbon to launch the expansion of its Graduate Medical Education Program.

"We know that about 60 percent, it varies on the specialty, but about 60 percent of the people who train in a residency program or a fellowship end up practicing where they trained, so if we can train them here we think they will stay here," said Dr. Don Brown, Director of the Graduate Medical Education Program.

The goal of the program is to train doctors in Kentucky and keep them in the state to serve in rural communities.

"The number of retiring physicians is increasing, the number of older people is increasing, and the number of active physicians is decreasing," said Brown.

Starting July 1 the Graduate Medical Education Program will add three new residency programs and two new fellowship programs.

Of those being added are an Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, a General Surgery Residency, a Transitional Year Residency, Pulmonary Medicine Fellowship, and an Interventional Cardiology Fellowship.

The new programs increase the number of students enrolled from 34 to 58, and that is just the start.

"And so when all the programs are completely full and fully matriculated then we'll have 79," said Brown. "So with all the medical students on campus, it'll be 199 learners on campus in this community."

Those in the program spoke during Thursday's ceremony and commended their instructors for their dedication to helping the students.

Some in the program already have plans to stay here locally after graduation.

"I have one more year of residency and then after this I am going to work in Franklin for the Medical Center doing primary care medicine and Dr. Cassady mentioned some additional programs that we're planning for the future, gastroenterology is one of those that I hope is coming here and I'd like to pursue that," said Steven Edds, a Third Year Resident.

With signs of more programs being added in the future, it shows the Medical Center is a leading teaching facility molding the doctors of the future.