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Howard Hospital Reorganizes Residency Programs

Howard Hospital Reorganizes Residency Programs


Howard University Hospital will reorganize its graduate medical education programs in response to concerns expressed by an accrediting council. As part of a long-term strategic effort to advance the hospital’s service to patients and training of new physicians, hospital officials say they will realign the number of new residency slots with the current volume of patients.

In late 2001, the hospital received an “unfavorable ruling” from the Institutional Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) (see Black Issues, June 20). One of the most frequent and important citations in the review was “insufficient experience/clinical volume for teaching purposes.” In other words, there were not enough patients for the number of residents. The closing of some Washington-area hospitals had reduced the number of training opportunities for residents.

In response to the ACGME citations, a steering committee was formed to evaluate every residency program. Currently, only one residency program will be eliminated. That program, the “Transitional Year,” corresponds to the general, internship training at other institutions. Other residency programs will reduce the number of incoming residents to meet accreditation standards, and some may be reorganized in partnership affiliation with other hospitals.

In addition, after more information was forwarded to the accrediting council, the adverse status placed on two other programs during the ACGME review has been reversed. Those programs include the family practice program, which was placed on probation, and the obstetrics and gynecology program, which was placed on provisional status.

Hospital officials emphasized the hospital’s unique status and educational mission.

“As the only African American university-owned teaching hospital in the U.S., Howard University Hospital’s most important commitments are to quality patient care and to quality specialty training of physicians,” says Debra Carey, the hospital’s chief operating officer. “Our commitment to training medical personnel is unwavering and will be strengthened through this initial reorganization of our residency programs.”

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