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Try This: Go behind the scenes of Lakeland Regional Health’s new GME program

See what it takes to become a physician — and how the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program is good for Lakeland.

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An exterior view of Lakeland Regional Medical Center with a glass building, brick building, and a grassy median with a fountain.

GME residents go through rigorous interviews to be matched with Lakeland Regional Health for their residency — maybe it’s because of the Florida sunshine or LRH’s reputation.

Photo by LALtoday

Table of Contents

City Editor Connor here. Have you heard of Lakeland Regional Health’s new Graduate Medical Education (GME) program? Spoiler alert: It’s nothing like “Grey’s Anatomy.” I went behind the scenes of this exciting program to learn what it takes to become a physician and how the GME is good for Lakeland.

Medical residents watch as a resident and attending physician practice chest compressions on a simulation dummy.

Residents have hands-on experiences as they train in their simulation lab.

Photo by LALtoday

What we tried:

Dr. Nancy Finnigan, DO, and GME Internal Medicine Program Director Dr. Luis Daniel Lugo Rosado, MD, were my tour guides as we followed 70 residents through a day of training.

Resident physicians come to LRH for a hands-on approach to training. They learn in classrooms and simulation labs, but they’re also in rooms with patients, working alongside experienced attending physicians. Read: You could meet residents in some of LRH’s facilities.

The GME program includes internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, surgical critical care, or a transitional year.

A doctor uses a virtual surgery learning machine. She grips clamps and looks at a screen showing a practice exercise.

Dr. Finnigan showed me how residents learn to do surgical procedures on this machine so they’re comfortable before working on a real patient.

Photo by LALtoday

What not to miss:

I was impressed by the residents’ backgrounds — they already have medical degrees, certifications, and a range of experience. Plus, residents get to use high-tech tools in the simulation lab. There, they can practice operations and procedures to become experts before they’re sent into real medical situations.

A medical resident in a white lab coat poses and smiles in a hospital hallway.

How is the GME connected to Lakeland? Just meet Resident Physician Vivek P. of the internal medicine program. His family has lived in Lakeland for years, and he was matched with LRH for his residency.

Photo by LALtoday

What we’re still talking about:

Lakeland Regional Health has been working to bring the GME program to life for over 10 years. Residents are likely to stick around in the cities where they learn, so LRH’s aim is to help address Polk County’s physician shortage. Read: The GME program could make it easier for Lakelanders to be seen by doctors.

Three residents in white lab coats work with an attending physician to give injections to a simulation dummy.

Lakeland’s next generation of doctors are being trained right here at Lakeland Regional Health. Get to know them when you see them around town or LRH.

Photo by LALtoday

How you can experience this:

Keep an eye out for the residents on your next visit to a Lakeland Regional Health facility — or even on your next grocery run (they’re new Swan City residents, too, after all). And if you’re a soon-to-be resident, learn more about the Graduate Medical Education program.

Things to know if you go:

  • Experience: Learn about Lakeland Regional Health’s Graduate Medical Education program
  • Website:
  • Address: 1324 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland
  • Social: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
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