The University of Toledo and St. Joseph Mercy hospitals are joining forces as the medical school works to add clinical education spots for students and the Ann Arbor-based system launches resident education programs at its Livonia, Mich., hospital.
Officials from both institutions say that having more medical student and residency positions will help achieve a common goal:
Heading off a physician shortage by keeping more newly minted doctors in the region.
"Southeast Michigan, northwest Ohio both need physicians," said Dr. Bruce Deighton, St. Joseph's chief academic affairs officer.
"It's important that we try to retain as many of these as we can."
About a half-dozen students from the former Medical College of Ohio started doing third-year rotations at St. Joseph facilities in July, said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, dean of UT's college of medicine, who also is executive vice president and provost for health affairs.
"This is a very large, high-quality system," Dr. Gold said. "The [student] feedback has been very positive."
Dr. Deighton added: "They've been happy so far, so we hope that will continue. We like having the students."
UT is boosting its number of entering medical students annually as part of a national effort to increase the supply of doctors, and it needs more clinical locations for their training, Dr. Gold said.
The Association of American Medical Colleges has recommended enrollment in medical schools be increased 30 percent by 2015 to meet demand as baby boomers age, doctors retire, and other factors contribute to a national physician shortage.
St. Joseph, meanwhile, is in the process of developing up to 156 resident positions at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia.
Those residency programs will be academically affiliated with UT, which is helping recruit faculty and establish curriculum, Dr. Deighton said.
The nascent bond between UT and St. Joseph is in addition to existing ties, and it also will include research opportunities, officials said.
Medical students from UT will continue to do rotations with ProMedica Health System, Mercy Health Partners, St. Luke's Hospital, and other local providers.
And St. Joseph will continue to host medical students from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
UT is likely to have some residents do training at St. Joseph too, especially in reproductive medicine, Dr. Gold said.
Pharmacy, nursing, and therapy students at UT also eventually will get training opportunities at St. Joseph, he said.
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