March 21, 2012
There's been a lot of news recently about funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME), which plays a critical role in putting new medical professionals into the health-care workforce. Much of the discussion has focused on the fact that the number of allopathic medical residencies, for which DO graduates successfully compete with their allopathic counterparts, has remained essentially unchanged since the 1990s, despite there now being more medical school graduates.
It seems an opportune time to point out that in the face of this shortage of residencies, WesternU has developed a four-year medical program that is so comprehensive in its excellence that our graduates can compete for every residency imaginable, with impressive success.
One need look no further for evidence than the most recent Match Day, held last week, when fourth-year College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific students - who are just two months away from graduation - learned where they had been matched for residencies. The 122 COMP students matched through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) included 41 in family medicine residencies (33%), 27 in internal medicine, and 13 in pediatrics. The 59 matched through the American Osteopathic Association included 14 in family medicine (23%), and 11 in internal medicine. A wide variety of specialties also were covered, including orthopedics, psychiatry, anesthesiology and OB/Gyn.
The residency destinations themselves also are something of a "who's who" in clinical care. They include the University of Southern California; Maimonides Medical Center, New York; Tufts Medical Center, Boston; the Cleveland Clinic; University of Illinois COM, Chicago; University of Texas Medical School, Houston; Georgetown University Hospital; University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals; Oregon Health and Science University, Portland; Loma Linda University; UC San Diego Medical Center; Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; Pomona Valley Hospital; and dozens of others.
WesternU is doing more for GME than simply supplying well-qualified residents to these locales. Spurred by concerns about osteopathic graduate medical education (OGME) opportunities, colleges and their affiliated osteopathic postdoctoral training institutions, commonly called OPTIs, have for several years been aggressively developing new osteopathic residency positions. For example, COMP's OPTI-West Educational Consortium and Samaritan Health Services of Oregon collaborated to create highly-regarded residency programs that grew from zero to 51 residents training in three academic years (2008-11). Such efforts are expected to intensify even more if GME opportunities remain stagnant or become diminished as the result of federal budget cuts.
WesternU is not content to simply stand still and allow the status quo to rule the day as the need for more residencies grows. We produce outstanding medical graduates who compete for residency slots all over the country. As the demand for physicians increases with the advent of health care reform, it is incumbent upon our University and others like it, along with our clinical partners, to take action. Nothing less will ensure that the qualified, committed, and caring doctors of tomorrow will receive the training and experience they need today.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at email@example.com, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
My best to you all,