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HomeNewsMedical
Published: Thursday, 8/16/2007

ProMedica grants UT extension for medical students

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

University of Toledo officially received a reprieve from ProMedica Health System yesterday, although the two-week extension granted on a contract governing medical-student education at Toledo Hospital is far shorter than hoped.

ProMedica this week extended, for a third time, a contract allowing medical students at the former Medical College of Ohio to do rotations at Toledo Hospital in obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. Eleven UT medical students started a six-week rotation in those specialties this week, and if an agreement is reached, another 60 or so third-year students are expected to follow in subsequent rota-tions this school year.

While UT officials appreciate an extension, not getting one for the six-week period UT requested fails to alleviate medical students' fears that they may not finish their rotations if talks break down, which would require them to restart the experience elsewhere, UT spokesman Matt Lockwood said.

The dispute between UT and ProMedica runs deep, as clearly shown by letters exchanged by officials from both sides that The Blade obtained this week.

Talks for a proposed contract have become wrapped up in ProMedica's demands to receive exclusive, preferential insurance treatment for UT Health Science Campus employees getting medical care through the Toledo health system, and to solely assign a team doctor for UT's athletic programs. UT medical students and residents may no longer be taught at ProMedica hospitals unless those business demands are met, Alan Brass, ProMedica's chief executive, has indicated.

UT, however, wants to waive or reduce insurance co-payments to other local hospitals where medical students and residents are trained, including St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, and to mutually agree on choosing the team doctor, as has been done in the past.

The medical-student contract expired June 30 but was extended by four weeks, then an additional two before the latest extension.

There are no formal plans for UT and ProMedica officials to meet for negotiations, but there is contact between the two sides, said Tedra White, a ProMedica spokesman.

Richard Stansley, chairman of UT's board, asked last week for a six-week extension of the medical-student agreements, so students in this school year's first rotation would be covered. He had suggested in the letter to Frank Duval, ProMedica's board chairman, that several members of both boards should be involved in negotiations.

UT officials received verbal confirmation Tuesday that the contract would be extended but had received no formal letter with a duration until yesterday.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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