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UR Gets First Extended Accreditation from National Agency

Commitment to graduate medical education praised

Monday, June 20, 2005

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has received an unprecedented six-year accreditation for its residency programs from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

The university’s medical school is the first to get the extended accreditation. The maximum accreditation term previously awarded by the ACGME was five years.

UR “is the first to be judged by the Institutional Review Committee to actually earn it,” said Cynthia Taradejna, the committee’s executive director.

The accreditation included no citations of inadequacies or deficiencies. The ACGME decision means the next institutional review of the UR medical school by the ACGME will occur in 2011.

Residents are physicians who have graduated from medical school and who train for several years in specialty fields, such as pediatrics or surgery.

“The residents are here for an education, but they also are very involved in patient care,” said Diane Hartmann, M.D., associate dean for Graduate Medical Education at the medical school. “This accreditation reflects on the quality of training, but it also reflects on the quality of care our residents give our patients.”

The ACGME evaluates individual residency programs as well as the sponsoring institution to determine whether an extensive and detailed set of standards are being met. ACGME representatives make one-day site visits for each program or institution during which they conduct interviews with program directors, faculty and residents. The evaluation also includes a review of documents.

UR has 27 residency programs with 496 residents and 41 fellowship programs with 115 fellows.

In addition to the on-site institutional review, the ACGME has conducted reviews of 15 individual UR residency programs since July 2004. The medical school has conducted internal reviews of an additional 18 residency programs in the same time period. The average length of accreditation for UR residency programs is 4.4 years, which the ACGME described as “an excellent track record.”

“We have constant internal reviews to make sure we maintain a high level of quality,” Hartmann said. “The ACGME looks at how well an institution monitors itself.”

In its accreditation letter, the ACGME said “the residents lauded the institution for its many strengths,” citing support from the graduate education office, leadership by program directors and department chairs, the collegial atmosphere demonstrated in the institution and computer informatics systems.

David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.,dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, praised Hartmann, saying “she has earned the respect of our residency and fellowship program directors for her high standards and expectations, her extraordinary attention to detail, and her fairness.”

“Under Dr. Hartmann’s leadership, our residency and fellowship programs truly reflect the University’s motto of Meliora -- Always Better,” Guzick said. “It is satisfying that the level of excellence that we have achieved is recognized nationally by this newly created commendation that has never before been awarded to any medical center.”

C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., CEO, University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Health, said the university has a deep tradition in excellence in medical education and training.

“This is another accolade for a medical school and medical center that always has established high standards for education and patient care,” Evarts said.

The ACGME accreditation includes the UR medical center, Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is a private, non-profit council that evaluates medical residency programs in the United States. It accredits about 8,000 residency programs, affecting about 100,000 medical residents.

Accreditation is voluntary. Residency programs must be accredited by the ACGME to receive graduate medical education funds from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Residents must graduate from ACGME-accredited programs to be eligible to take their board certification examinations.


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