Providing outstanding care is only part of the mission of Wellington Regional Medical Center (WRMC). Founded on the principles of educating new physicians for central and western Palm Beach County, WRMC provides a base for more than a dozen education programs to provide clinical training for future doctors, nurses and numerous other healthcare professionals.
At the center of its role as an academic medical center is the hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The hospital also hosts more than 20 medical students from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn University for their third year of training, as well as pharmacy, nursing, surgical techs and radiology techs, to name a few.
“The breadth of services currently offered at WRMC and the amazing things happening every day in areas like comprehensive stroke care, advanced cardiac care and minimally invasive surgery create an ideal learning environment,” said Berry Pierre, DO, program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He added that “for patients, the collaborative, innovative approach to care can mean an even better experience, with better outcomes.”
Professionals-in-training participate under the supervision of the faculty physicians and may share ideas and input, as well as provide extra care.
Not only do students benefit from the learning atmosphere, but “the culture of learning spreads out to other members of the medical staff,” said Richard Hays, MD, chief medical officer. “This has inspired the sharing of knowledge through a wide array of physician conferences, as well as research opportunities for both physicians and students that help keep the hospital on the cutting edge.”
Sharon F. Beckley, administrative director of medical education and medical staff, adds, “Having a role in the growth and development of healthcare professionals as they begin their medical practice is very rewarding.”
Preparing for the front lines
Paramedics in-training at Palm Beach State College also receive a “phenomenal clinical experience” at Wellington Regional, learning about key skills they may need in the field, such as inserting a breathing tube and delivering a baby, says Michael Rodriguez, Captain of Delray Beach Fire Rescue. “They’re truly helping the community by preparing these students,” he says of the educational program. “I think that’s something Wellington should be very proud of.”
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“Choosing where to receive your education is a big decision, and it’s important to do your research in order to find a program that will help you reach your goals,” says Jean Josephs-Tackore, MSN, RN, director of staff development. For example, what are the school’s academic standards? How are students prepared clinically? What accreditations does the program have?
“Wellington Regional is proud to be affiliated with top academic facilities in the state, which provide a solid foundation for successful and rewarding careers in many different areas. Additionally, the hospital works in other ways to foster education and build connections in the community,” says Josephs-Tackore.
One way that people are being inspired is through the hospital’s participation in the Palm Beach County STEM Education Council’s Teacher Externship Program. This program sends local teachers into real work environments, where they complete a project and then bring back information to their students. Natasha Jovanovic, of Loggers’ Run Middle School, worked on an orthopedic project at Wellington Regional and said, “This experience will help me as a teacher because I had the opportunity to become a student again. I also plan on sharing the clinical experience with the students because they really enjoy hearing about what goes on in a hospital.”
“There are so many people who contribute to the successful care and administration at a hospital,” says Josephs-Tackore. “Through education and outreach, Wellington is working hard to provide valuable resources and opportunities right here close to home.”