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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Clinica Sierra Vista will be taking over Kern Medical Center's family practice residency program, and the interview process has already begun, with more than 300 residency applications submitted.
Monday on "First Look with Scott Cox," Clinica CEO Steve Schilling talked about the future of the program.
"We committed to this project to rescue and guarantee the survival of the primary care programs in the community," Schilling said.
The switch comes after KMC proposed not having a new class of family practice residents to save money. Conversations about partnering with Clinica to save the program started last year, Schilling said.
Clinica would hire six new resident physicians in July 2014.
For the first year of residency, residents will work at the hospital, so there will still be a connection with KMC. In their second and third years, residents will work in different outpatient care Clinica sites, Schilling said.
Besides keeping the residency program open, Schilling said the other main focus is on keeping doctors in town.
"In the selection process, we want young graduates of medical school who have valley roots because they are more likely to say in the valley," Schilling said.
Robert Price, The Californian's editorial page editor, asked Schilling what he thought about the Affordable Care Act and if he saw a future in it.
"I've been a supporter but I was very disturbed and disappointed because it's overly complicated," Schilling said.
Besides its bumpy start, Schilling said he plans to remain positive but gives it until the end of the year for it to be fixed.
"The glitches need to be fixed and if it doesn't, then maybe we should think about launching it later on when it's all fixed," Schilling said.