Collaboration Aims to Increase Physician Workforce

Thursday, June 9, 2022
Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, CEO of Rural Health Services, and James O'Loughlin, CEO of Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, CEO of Rural Health Services, and James O'Loughlin, CEO of Aiken Regional Medical Centers

As the need increases for primary care physicians in South Carolina and throughout the United States, Aiken Regional Medical Centers and Rural Health Services, Inc., have collaborated to increase the number of newly graduated physicians starting residency with the Graduate Medical Education Program at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

“The collaboration between Aiken Regional and Rural Health Services will better help attract physicians to our community,” says Sireesha Vemuri-Reddy, MD, NIPDD, FAAFP, Chief of Hospitalist Medicine and Family Medicine Program Director at Aiken Regional Medical Centers. “Our family medicine program will train physicians within both the hospital and community setting, with the goal of improving access to healthcare in our community, long-term.”

Aiken Regional’s Graduate Medical Education Program will help address physician shortage concerns within the CSRA and nearby areas of South Carolina. According to the American Medical Association, following residency training, 64.6% of family medicine residents practice in the same state in which they trained.

The family medicine residents will complete their residency training at Aiken Regional and Rural Health Services Clyburn Center for Primary Care, an outpatient clinic. The collaboration will increase the number of primary care physicians locally, as well as better serve the local community by increasing access to healthcare for patients who are impoverished, lack health insurance or face barriers to accessing healthcare services.

“We are so very excited to welcome the first class of residents to our facility,” says Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, Chief Executive Officer at Rural Health Services. “As a community health center, our goal is to provide new doctors with an opportunity to learn in a high-quality, patient-centered medical practice environment that address the non-medical social and environmental factors that affect health outcomes.”

Aiken Regional received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) of its first graduate medical education program, Family Medicine, this past fall 2021. Aiken Regional’s Family Medicine Residency Program is a three-year (36-month) postgraduate program. The program will welcome its first six residents on July 1, 2022, with three years of structured, supervised training alongside highly qualified faculty and dedicated medical staff. By July 2024, Aiken Regional will have 18 family medicine residents on staff and training year-round.

To schedule an appointment with the Residency Continuity Clinic, call 803-380-7000.