July 20, 2018 – Nathan Falk, M.D., will be the first program director for the Florida State University College of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Winter Haven Hospital. The residency program was announced earlier this year, with the hiring of a program director serving as a pivotal point for curriculum development, faculty recruitment, and completion of the accreditation application.
Falk, a graduate of the University Of Nebraska Medical Center College Of Medicine, currently is medical director and associate program director for the Florida Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in Orlando. He is expected to begin work in Winter Haven in October.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to help Florida State and Winter Haven Hospital start this new residency program. It’s a great opportunity to help move health care and primary care forward in Florida and Polk County,” said Falk, a 2015 recipient of the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.
“Dr. Falk will be instrumental in initiating our Family Medicine Residency Program,” said Steve Nierman, president of Winter Haven Hospital. “He arrives with incredible experience and a passion for improving primary care access for our communities.”
Florida State and Winter Haven Hospital have applied with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to establish the new residency program. The length of the accreditation process and other preparations will make it likely that the program’s first residents will arrive in 2020.
The three-year program is expected to admit six new residents each year for a total of 18 residents. In addition to receiving in-depth training in the field of family medicine, the residents will train and provide care in a community with significant needs for more primary-care physicians.
“This residency program is a real mission fit for the College of Medicine, and we are thrilled that Dr. Falk has agreed to be the founding director,” said Joan Meek, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education at the College of Medicine. “Dr. Falk is an experienced medical educator and leader. The program has the potential to have a significant impact on health outcomes in the area. Ultimately, we hope to encourage more family physicians to live and work in areas of the state in which they are most needed.”
Falk served as chief resident and faculty at the University of Nebraska Family Medicine Residency Program and has served as clinical faculty for the FSU College of Medicine and the University Of Central Florida College Of Medicine since 2016.
“The goal of an excellent family physician is to provide high-quality care for most of every patient’s needs. We are truly the specialists in providing whole-person care,” Falk said. “In Winter Haven, the local medical staff of all specialties are very excited to help train our residents in this manner. They will have the advantage of being the only residents at Winter Haven Hospital and thus have exclusive access to excellent, unopposed, hands-on training in an intimate community-based setting.
“Our goal is to help provide outstanding primary care for years to come in Central Florida. As such, we intend to recruit residents dedicated to family medicine and serving underserved patients. Having residents from Florida wanting to stay here to practice would be fabulous.”