West Virginia University has earned re-accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The five-year credential is the longest offered by the organization, which reviews residency training programs for physicians who have graduated from medical school.
WVU School of Medicine faculty members supervise 54 residency programs at six West Virginia hospitals. Thirty-eight of those are in specialties for which ACGME accreditation is possible, and all are fully accredited. In addition to the programs at WVU Hospitals in Morgantown, WVU sponsors training for physicians at City Hospital in Martinsburg, Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson and the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Clarksburg and Martinsburg. In Charleston, WVU faculty physicians supervise training of residents in programs sponsored by Charleston Area Medical Center.
“We take our responsibility to train physicians for West Virginia very seriously, and that means training physicians in multiple specialty areas to better serve the needs of the state,” said Norman Ferrari, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education in the School of Medicine.
About 380 residents are currently in training in the WVU-sponsored programs. The largest programs are in internal medicine and psychiatry. About half of WVU’s specialty training programs are the only ones of their kind in the state, including emergency medicine, infectious diseases, neurosurgery, neurology, ophthalmology and many others.
“From a resident’s perspective, having an institution that supports its residents and fellows to the extent that WVU does is very valuable for those facing the decision of where to do their residency,” said Justin T. Kupec, M.D., who recently completed internal medicine training at WVU and is now a postgraduate fellow in digestive diseases. “I am very proud of being from West Virginia and training at WVU.”
The training of physicians for primary care and specialty careers has a direct impact on healthcare in West Virginia, according to Mahreen Hashmi, M.D., who leads WVU’s obstetrics and gynecology residency program. “The five-year accreditation cycle means that we’re not just meeting expectations, we’re exceeding them – our programs are a model for the whole country,” she said. “When we send our residency graduates out into the state, they’re taking the quality care we offer here and bringing it to the communities where they will practice.”
Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., WVU’s chancellor for health sciences, also serves on the Board of Directors for ACGME. “It is incredibly gratifying for my home institution to do so well,” he said. “I know that each of the graduate medical education competencies are designed to provide high quality and safe patient care, and to promote life-long learning among our residents and fellow physicians.”
ACGME has about 800 sponsoring institutions and regularly reviews 8,750 programs in 132 specialty programs. About 110,000 residents nationwide are training in ACGME-accredited programs.
CONTACT: Amy Johns, HSC News Service
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