Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

KU Med School in Wichita faces controversial criticism

Training of residents is inadequate, consultants say

February 12, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated February 12, 2009, 10:47 a.m.


A model for training Kansas University medical residents in Wichita is facing scrutiny from both inside and outside KU.

Residents at the KU School of Medicine in Wichita are trained by the Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education, or WCGME, which is a cooperative agreement among the school, Via Christi Regional Medical Center and Wesley Medical Center.

Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center, told the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday that an outside group of consultants who had examined issues at the Wichita campus said the WCGME model of training residents was inadequate, and recommended a new solution.

Atkinson said the recommendation had been controversial, and that any decisions would likely wait until a new dean for the Wichita campus would be hired — likely by July, if not sooner, she said.

“I am not even sure at this point in time that I’m ready to accept this recommendation,” she said.

In addition to the long-term question of the institution’s future, WCGME is also facing short-term budget shortfalls, as state money is becoming less available and the hospitals appear unwilling to continue running deficits on the program.

The national organization that accredits graduate residency programs is requiring additional paid time for faculty research, teaching and administration. WCGME currently does not meet the new standards.

Regent Jill Docking said the program could face losing its accreditation in the future.

Atkinson said much of the funding gap comes from subsidizing care to people who cannot afford treatment.

Regent Gary Sherrer called for patience on the short-term questions.

“We cannot address the ultimate WCGME solutions in a vacuum, when we’ve just gone through a consulting piece” that calls for a major overhaul, he said.

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