BY SARAH TOMPKINS
Methodist Hospitals has partnered with Northwestern University to become a clinical training site for the university's emergency medicine residency program.
The McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University will send 33 post-graduate physicians each year to Methodist Hospitals' emergency department at its Northlake campus in Gary. The program started in mid-July and is on its third round of residents.
"I'm excited about our partnership with Northwestern, a top 10 academic center, and feel that it is a strong reflection of the quality of services that we provide at Methodist Hospitals," said Ian McFadden, CEO of Methodist Hospitals. "This partnership reinforces our commitment to being a leader in sub-specialty care and raises the quality of care received at our emergency department."
McFadden said the partnership with Northwestern strengthens the hospital's commitment to medical education and becoming a medical teaching facility.
The resident doctors from Northwestern have at least one year of training experience beyond medical school, said Dr. Geoffrey Bauer, vice chief of emergency services at Methodist Hospitals.
"Here we have very sick patients, sicker than at most community hospital settings," Bauer said. "And there are a lot of social factors that make taking care of folks all the more complicated. You can't write a prescription for the latest and greatest drug if your patient can't afford it."
And while the residents perfect their skills, the hospital and its patients benefit from the extra set of hands. Hospital officials expect a decrease in emergency department wait times. And Bauer said when it comes to treating patients, two heads are better than one.
"That trainee can bring points to a discussion and can get you to look at something differently that allows you to provide more effective treatment," Bauer said.
The partnership is planned for at least the next five years, hospital officials said, and each patient seen by a resident is also seen by one of Methodist's regular emergency staff physicians.