FHP AIMS TO `BRING BACK' FAMILY PHYSICIAN

Published: Monday, July 12 1993 12:00 a.m. MDT

A hospital in South Salt Lake that's scheduled to open its doors to patients Aug. 9 should help to bring back the family practice doctor, says FHP spokeswoman Amy Van Prooyen.

The 117-bed hospital, simply called FHP Utah Hospital, will be the first actual hospital in Utah under the FHP system, which has 157,000 subscribers in the state. Although FHP has other facilities from Provo to Brigham City, they are medical centers, not hospitals.The hospital will launch a new residency program to train physicians in family medicine, starting in summer 1994. It will "fill a growing need in Utah, which has the country's youngest per capita population," she said.

Van Prooyen said a family practice doctor is not the same as a general practitioner.

"A general practitioner is someone who hasn't completed a residency," she said. "This (family medicine) is something you have to complete a residency for."

The residency will be a three-year program, training 13 medical school graduates. There will be four in each year of the residency program plus a chief resident.

The FHP Family Residency Program intends to increase the number of family physicians in Utah by 25 percent. The number should rise from 16 to 21 per year.

She said Dr. John Robinson, FHP family practice residency director, believes the residency program is unique in that it is will be under the auspices of a health maintenance organization, or HMO.

An HMO not only insures its members against serious illness or injury but also provides health care for its members, including preventive care and other benefits that often are not offered by traditional insurance plans, she said.

FHP plans to open a senior/

specialty center adjacent to the hospital at 2500 S. State. Work at the center will be included in the residents' rotation.

Residents will get training in the new hospital in pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, surgery, emergency medicine, mental health care, geriatrics and other speciality areas.

Training in urology, cardiology and other segments will be completed at St. Mark's Hospital, which is affiliated with the program.

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