Looking for a family doctor? This new clinic is now taking patients.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice at the opening ceremony Oct. 10 of the new Tidelands Medical Park on Holmestown Road.
U.S. Rep. Tom Rice at the opening ceremony Oct. 10 of the new Tidelands Medical Park on Holmestown Road. ahudson@thesunnews.com

Finding family doctors in the Myrtle Beach area who are accepting new patients is about to get simpler for residents along the south Stand.

New patients will also be contributing to the education young doctors serving their residencies in the new Tidelands Health Family Medicine practice on Holmestown Road.

The doors to new patients are opening Oct. 16, but some local residents are already lining up to get an appointment, said Carl Lindquist, spokesman for Tidelands Health.

“There was active interest while the building was under construction, people stopped to ask if we would accept new appointments,” Lindquist said. “That gives an indication of the interest.”

The new Tidelands center, partnering with the Medical University of South Carolina’s residency program, was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday featuring officials from both health centers as well as U.S. Rep. Tom Rice.

At least eight licensed practitioners fulfilling their three-year residency program will work side-by-side with established doctors, giving patients the added benefit of two doctors, Lindquist said.

The practice aims to grow to 24 resident physicians by 2019 and offering 20,000 patient visits per year, Lindquist said.

When the doctors have completed their residency, officials said their hope is that the young physicians will choose to make the Grand Strand their home and continue practicing here.

“You’re training the physicians of the future,” Rice told the crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, that included the first eight doctors accepted into the residency program from as far away as New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

He predicted many of the young doctors will chose to stay here in the warmer climate and “lift this community for decades to come,” while diversifying the economy and lifting wages.

“Training more physicians is essential if we are to meet the area’s growing need for health care, and Tidelands Health’s MUSC family medicine residency program is a major step towards meeting that demand,” Rice said.

Tidelands invested $11 million in into the new facility, which includes state-of-the-art technology and 24 examination rooms.