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Arizona Edition: Yuma native a national leader in new physician training

Arizona Edition

The United States, including Arizona, has a shortage of doctors.

The future of American health care depends on adding more than 120,000 physicians in the next ten years.

Adding to the challenge is that educating doctors takes time, structure, and, according to Dr. Kristina, Diaz, community.

Dr. Diaz is chief academic officer and program director of the YRMC Family and Community Medicine Residency program.

The Yuma native is also President of the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians and the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.

Dr. Diaz is leading efforts to train the next generation of physicians.

With the YRMC program from the start, Dr. Diaz says watching young residents learn (close to 50 have graduated since the program began in 2013) is what she finds most rewarding.

The Yuma doctor is also proud that the family medicine physicians trained at YRMC branch out into communities across the country, and some stay to practice in southwestern Arizona.

Dr. Diaz talks about the structure of residency programs, why the long hours are worth it, and what is on the horizon as YRMC's family medicine program expands.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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