HWCOM VA GME Program | Ignite | Florida International University | FIU
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A milestone in caring for our community

The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) at Florida International University (FIU) was established in 2006 (with the first graduating class in 2013) on the basis of two promises. The first was changing the future of medical practice by preparing socially accountable physicians, scientists, and health professionals. The second was in keeping with the FIU mission as a public university: serving our community here in South Florida. We have lived up to these promises.

Today, the College is achieving a major milestone in caring for our community—establishing its first residency training program. Our graduate medical education program with the Miami VA Medical Center (Miami VAMC) will be one of the few residency programs in the U.S., and the only one in Florida, to utilize a Veterans Affairs Healthcare facility as its primary training site.

Benefitting veterans in Miami and across the nation

Establishing this unique site for graduate medical education within the Miami VAMC will strengthen clinical care within the entire South Florida region: The highly skilled physicians our program creates will compassionately care for our eligible South Florida veterans—numbering over 75,000—and will be uniquely prepared to care for all persons within our community. These much-needed internists will be capable of managing the complex medical and social problems—often lifelong—that our veterans confront after returning to civilian life including post traumatic stress disorder, addiction, chronic pain, and homelessness. Importantly, these valuable skills will extend to the care our physicians deliver to all persons in South Florida once they complete their training, including the indigent and those struggling with limited resources, as well as to veterans at any VA facility in the United States.

As primary care physicians within the Miami VAMC, residents will enjoy the best of both worlds. They will rotate through a range of ambulatory clinics—including women’s health—that will give them a well-rounded experience. They will also be able to provide continuity of care, from the outpatient clinic to the inpatient setting for hospitalized veterans, and then extending even into patient’s homes. Using the VA’s robust telehealth system, residents will become adept at delivering virtual care to veterans when needed and in locations that make caring for veterans seamless.

While open to HWCOM graduates, the program will also draw skilled physicians to Miami-Dade County from across the country, increasing healthcare capacity. In addition, the partnership will advance knowledge through research by establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between FIU-HWCOM and the nation’s largest healthcare delivery system. It will accelerate the translation of novel therapeutics developed at FIU to address unmet medical needs within the Miami VAMC; in turn, this partnership will allow Miami VAMC to become a driver of FIU research.

Serving those who have served us

This is an exciting time for the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine as we launch our first residency program with the Miami VA Medical Center. We will become only the seventh medical school out of 581 in the U.S. to utilize a

VA facility as our primary clinical site. The major pieces are in place for this innovative primary care residency. The state of Florida is fully committed. The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System is fully committed. Together, we will produce the next generation of physicians to care for our nation’s veterans.

Veteran speaking with a doctor - Serving those who served

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