Dr. Roland Skeel, right, talks with Medical College of Ohio students and residents while making his hospital rounds.
Two more Medical College of Ohio residency programs have been started at Toledo Hospital and four more could be added, a sign that the renewal in academic ties between MCO and Toledo Hospital is working well, officials with both organizations said.
Residents are doctors who have completed medical school and are receiving on-the-job training.
In 1999, ProMedica Health System, which owns Toledo Hospital, was criticized by some in the medical community when it ended most of its academic affiliations with MCO, meaning residents and most students had to leave ProMedica facilities.
However, last year ProMedica and MCO officials announced new academic affiliation agreements that would allow MCO residents back into ProMedica facilities, and eventually expand access for MCO students. Last July, a three-resident urology residency program was started at Toledo Hospital using MCO residents.
On July 1, two MCO residency programs were started at Toledo Hospital - a pathology residency and an anesthesia residency; pathology has two residents, while anesthesia has one.
MCO and ProMedica also are discussing whether Toledo Hospital will accept MCO residents in four additional areas - psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, and obstetrics.
Another area still being discussed is expanding access for MCO medical students at ProMedica facilities. A small number of MCO students have trained at Toledo Hospital and Flower Hospital for many years, but most MCO students still don't have as wide access as they once did at ProMedica facilities.
“We are very pleased. It's working well,” said Dr. Amira Gohara, acting president of MCO.
“I think everyone is exceptionally happy,” said Steve Mooney, president of ProMedica's Health Education and Research Corp., which oversees medical education for ProMedica.
Medical schools have long emphasized that on-the-job experience in hospitals and doctors offices is essential for medical students and residents. Expanding access at ProMedica is another way to ensure that, Dr. Gohara said.
“It gets them more volume and a larger number of cases,” she said. “It also broadens their experience and the type of diseases they see.”
Northwest Ohio benefits from more well-rounded medical students and residents because many MCO graduates and residents go on to practice in the area.
Barbara Steele, president of Toledo Hospital, added that ProMedica physicians want the access to students and residents because working with students keeps them sharp and up-to-date with the latest advances.
In addition to renewing its relationship with MCO, ProMedica has two of its own family practice residency programs, and also has residents from the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland's Fairview Hospital, the University of Michigan, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Michigan State University.
While the handful of MCO residents in urology, pathology, and anesthesia who are back at Toledo Hospital is viewed as positive by both sides, Dr. Gohara said it's still far from previous levels. In 1999, 34 residents and 270 medical students had to leave ProMedica facilities. MCO has 560 medical students and 231 residents.
Dr. Gohara and Mr. Mooney said the slow renewal is intentional and they want to make sure each residency program, and the expansion of student access, is done properly.
Most of the training of MCO students and residents is done at MCO Hospitals and St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, which Dr. Gohara praised for its long-standing support.
“We are happy ProMedica is opening its doors, but the pillar in our medical education is really St. Vincent's and the Mercy system,” she said.