The South Sound’s first general surgery residency program, sponsored by CHI Franciscan Health’s St. Joseph Medical Center, was approved this fall by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The residency program, the first in Pierce County, is designed to train the next generation of general surgeons.
According to a recent report from the Office of Financial Management/Health Care Research Center, Pierce County averages just 19 surgeons per 100,000 population, slightly less than the statewide average of 21. However, King County, which houses the only other general surgery programs in Washington state, exceeds the statewide average with 29 surgeons per 100,000 population. It is estimated that about 60 percent of physicians practice medicine within 50 miles of their residency program.