MetroHealth to launch new surgical residency program this summer

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MetroHealth will launch a new, fully accredited surgical residency program this summer in an effort to attract more top medical talent to Northeast Ohio by expanding surgery training opportunities, according to a news release.

MetroHealth has trained the surgical workforce for more than 60 years through partnerships. It is now accepting residents for its own program, which MetroHealth began designing last summer to replace a long-standing surgical residency partnership with University Hospitals that is coming to an end.

Built on the foundation of MetroHealth’s Department of Surgery and the health system’s affiliation with the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the new program will enable MetroHealth to introduce resident physicians to the challenges and opportunities of practicing in an urban, mission-driven safety net public hospital setting, according to the release.

“This program will allow MetroHealth to train the next generation of surgeon clinicians, educators and leaders to provide compassionate care with a commitment to improving the health of diverse communities through service, research and innovation,” said Dr. Bernard Boulanger, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of MetroHealth, in a provided statement.

MetroHealth’s surgical residency program earned full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) earlier this month and is expected to have its first cohort of residents this summer, according to the release. Three of those physicians will be just starting their surgical training, while the others will be transfers entering the later years of their residencies.

MetroHealth plans to offer a temporary system of “significant financial incentives” to help build the program and recruit qualified candidates during the program’s first few years of operation, according to the release, which notes the incentives are designed to attract top talent and provide financial assistance to residents often saddled with student debt. The average medical student debt is $241,600 — a figure expected to exceed $300,000 by 2024 — and underrepresented minorities tend to carry an even higher educational debt load, according to the release.

“Our program will prepare surgeons capable of excelling in any general surgery practice setting, well poised to pursue further training and ready to take on leadership roles in the field,” said Dr. Christopher P. Brandt — Richard B. Fratianne Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University, Chair of the Department of Surgery and Director, Surgery Service Line at MetroHealth — in a provided statement.

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