SMH's First Physicians Group Celebrates 30 Years of Serving the Community

Thursday, June 27, 2024

SARASOTA, Fla. - (June 27, 2024) - Thirty years ago, a handful of physicians at Sarasota Memorial began to work with the health care system with the goal of strengthening the primary care network in the community. Since its inception in 1994, First Physicians Group (FPG) has grown to become one of the most respected multi-specialty medical group in the community.

“Despite the ongoing shortage of physicians and health care providers in Florida and throughout the nation, FPG has been able to successfully recruit primary care providers and highly trained specialists to ensure comprehensive and advanced care for residents in the area,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President and CEO David Verinder.

Today, FPG sees more than 840,000 patient visits each year. The primary and specialty care network includes approximately 600 physicians and advanced practice providers across the Suncoast region.

Hospital-owned physician groups have become a critical safety net for communities across the nation as physicians continue to leave private practices due to increased administrative costs, the need to continually integrate new technologies and difficulty recruiting and retaining physicians to meet their patient needs.

Many physicians have chosen to join or transition their practice to FPG rather than a private corporation, saying they prefer working for a community-owned health system that has demonstrated nearly 100 years of dedication and service to the Suncoast region.

"From those humble beginnings 30 years ago, FPG has continued to work alongside the health system to meet the needs of our growing community, while keeping top-quality patient care at the center of everything we do,” said FPG Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jack Rodman, MD, MPH.

About Sarasota Memorial’s First Physicians Group

First Physicians Group is a network of primary and specialty care physicians employed by Sarasota Memorial Health Care System to help fill the gaps caused by a shortage of physicians in the region. Backed by the resources and reputation of Sarasota Memorial, the group of more than 580 primary and specialty care physicians and advanced practice providers have been carefully selected and recruited to provide the community with compassionate and comprehensive medical care. For information, visit 

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

( Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional health system offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 10,000 employees and 1.7 million patient visits each year across its two hospital campuses, freestanding ER, skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, cancer institute, behavioral health pavilion and regional network of outpatient/urgent care centers and physician practices. For information, visit