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Phoebe Welcomes New Residents

Albany, Ga. – With the addition of eight new residents to the Phoebe Family Medicine Residency (PFMR), the program now has 23 residents, its largest number ever. The program is on pace to include a full complement of 24 residents next year. The members of the Class of 2022 were welcomed Wednesday at a ceremony in the main hospital’s lobby attended by Phoebe staff, community leaders and relatives of the new residents.

“This is my first resident welcome ceremony at Phoebe,” said new Phoebe President & CEO Scott Steiner. “I can honestly say I don’t think any other community in the country rolls out the red carpet for residents the way Albany does. This is an exciting day, and we are proud to welcome these young physicians into our community of healers. They will be an important part of the Phoebe Family for the next three years and, hopefully, beyond,” Steiner added.

The residents enjoyed a private breakfast with Mr. Steiner and other senior members of the Phoebe leadership team Wednesday morning. During the welcome ceremony, they were presented with white coats and pagers to symbolize the fact that they are now full-fledged, working physicians. Each resident was also given a welcome wagon full of items donated by various businesses and organizations in the community.

The members of the PFMR Class of 2022 include:

  • Robert Beveridge, MD - University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
  • Chris Carter, MD - The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
  • Christina Hall, MD - University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  • Ajay Jani, MD - Ross University School of Medicine
  • Sorna Kamara, MD - University of Kentucky College of Medicine
  • Patrick Kobler, MD - Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University
  • Miguel Maceda, MD - University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  • Aaron Zervos, DO - University of South Florida State Morsani College of Medicine

The PFMR has a national reputation as an outstanding training ground for family medicine physicians. The new residents were chosen from a competitive pool of more than 1,100 applicants.  “Today, I was really touched by the personal interest that was taken in us. A lot of programs wouldn’t even take the time to let us meet the leaders. That meant a lot, and it confirmed to me that I made the right choice coming here, and I couldn’t be happier,” said new resident Dr. Chris Carter.

Dr. Carter grew up in a small town in southern Mississippi and is looking forward to serving the people of southwest Georgia. “I know what the needs are in this community. The demographics are very similar to where I’m from. I want to be able to serve where I’m really needed,” he said.

The new PFMR Program Director, William P. Fricks, Jr., MD, is a graduate of the program himself who joined the PFMR faculty after completing his residency in 2003. He recalled attending his resident welcome ceremony in 2000. “I was excited, but, honestly, I didn’t plan on staying in Albany. But after those three years (in the residency program), I didn’t want to leave Albany.  It has been impressive to see this welcome ceremony grow, and it’s been impressive to see the residency program grow,” Dr. Fricks said.

Rep. CaMia Hopson, a freshman state lawmaker who represents the section of Albany where Phoebe’s main campus is located, gave the keynote address at the ceremony. She told the eight residents about the significance of the number ‘8’ throughout history. “I’m going to call you ‘The Lucky 8.’ We’re lucky to have you in our city, but you are just as lucky to be here. You are here at a really exciting time of new beginnings for the city of Albany,” Hopson said.

The residents will spend the next three years honing their medical skills in southwest Georgia. They will complete various specialty rotations as they train under a highly-qualified and dedicated team of volunteer faculty members, treating patients in Phoebe hospitals as well as the Phoebe Primary Care at Northwest clinic.

The PFMR Class of 2019, which includes five residents, will be honored at a graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 30. That class brings the total number of PFMR graduates to 125 since the program began in 1993. 72% of those graduates are currently practicing in Georgia, and the majority of those remain in southwest Georgia. Two members of this latest graduating class are going to work for Phoebe as hospitalists.

Photo: PFMR Class of 2022 with Phoebe CEO Scott Steiner. From L-R: Chris Carter, MD; Miguel Maceda, MD; Christina Hall, MD; Ajay Jani, MD; Scott Steiner; Sorna Kamara, MD; Patrick Kobler, MD; Aaron Zervos, DO; Robert Beveridge, MD.