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Education

30 more medical residents ready for work under deal

50-year ProMedica-UT collaboration starts Friday

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    Dr. Sophia Toraby, 26, an incoming first-year University of Toledo surgical resident, says she was attracted to ProMedica Toledo Hospital because she will be able to learn in the busy Level 1 trauma center there.

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    Holly Bristoll, ProMedica chief integration officer for academic affiliations.

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It’s a monumental week for ProMedica Toledo Hospital and the University of Toledo’s affiliation agreement.

The first group of medical residents who will work at Toledo and Toledo Children’s Hospital since the two organizations signed a major deal to form a collaboration will begin Friday.

UT and ProMedica signed an academic affiliation agreement in August that will tie the two institutions together for 50 years. The pact will provide UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences with an influx of money — $250 million to renovate its campus off Arlington Avenue and build space on ProMedica’s campus off Monroe Street, as well as millions more in annual academic support payments to the college.

About 30 new medical residents will begin working at Toledo Hospital this week, joining 50 other UT medical residents who were there prior to the affiliation agreement, said Holly Bristoll, ProMedica’s chief integration officer, academic affiliation.

A majority of the 350 third and fourth year UT medical students will rotate across various specialties at Toledo Hospital or Toledo Children’s Hospital throughout the academic year.  About 50 UT physician faculty members will begin training residents and students at Toledo Hospital on Friday, officials said.

Over a five-year transition period, hundreds of medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty will shift to ProMedica sites.

ProMedica and UT officials proudly showed off a newly constructed suite on Wednesday inside Toledo Hospital that was built specifically for the influx of new medical residents and students.

The $3.1 million, 17,000-square-foot renovation project took about three months to complete. The former surgical area, on the second floor of the older part of Toledo Hospital, has been transformed into a bright, roomy, comfortable space, said Dr. Christopher Cooper, cardiologist and dean of UT’s college of medicine.

“There’s a place to get a shower. There are call rooms so they can catch some sleep if they need to. There’s a place where they can grab something to eat. There’s also this relaxation space so that if they just need a break for a few minutes they can take a break, ” Dr. Cooper said.

The residents, students, and faculty will move between the two entities, while working, learning, and teaching, university officials said.

They will also continue to work at the University of Toledo Medical Center, a smaller hospital located on UT’s health science campus. UTMC was not part of the affiliation agreement and will continue as an independent public hospital.

Dr. Sophia Toraby, 26, a first-year resident who just graduated from the medical college in May, said she will work overnights at UTMC, the former Medical College of Ohio, and will also be a surgical resident at Toledo Hospital for the next six years.

Dr. Toraby, a Connecticut native, said she also considered doing her medical residency at academic hospitals in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.

She decided to stay in Toledo because, “at the end of the day, I considered how much I had grown attached to the people here at our program,” Dr. Toraby said.

She said the affiliation agreement also played a role in her decision process. At first she was skeptical and concerned that it might destabilize the medical program. In the end, it was a positive because Toledo Hospital’s larger emergency department will provide more opportunities for a surgeon to treat patients, Dr. Toraby said.

“Actually, it’s more of a strength because of the breadth of experience here is so much more diverse,” she said.

One of the goals of the affiliation agreement is to attract and retain good medical talent in Toledo, Dr. Cooper said. Doctors often choose to settle near towns where they complete their medical residencies, he has said.

When she initially moved to Ohio to attend Oberlin College as an undergraduate, Dr. Toraby said she never expected to stay here. She is not sure where she will choose to move at the end of her residency.

“It really depends on how my family is at that point in time because my parents are getting a little bit older. But I can definitely see myself anywhere in the Midwest or in Ohio, but I’m not sure specifically if that will be in Toledo,” she said.

Contact Marlene Harris-Taylor at: mtaylor@theblade.com, 419-724-6091, or on Twitter @marlenetaylor48.

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