West Suburban Medical Center’s internal medicine residency program will end June 30 following the withdrawal of its accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Wednesday Journal has learned. The hospital was notified of ACGME’s determination Jan. 26, but hospital officials at the corporate level said in a statement they do not have details yet as to why the council made the decision.
“While we are disappointed by the news, we are evaluating options for retaining the accreditation or creating a new residency program,” said Jane Brust, spokesperson for Pipeline Health, West Suburban Medical Center’s parent company.
Brust told Wednesday Journal the loss of the hospital’s internal medicine residency program will not affect the hospital’s ability to provide medical care to its patients.
“The graduate medical education training program is separate from the accreditation of our hospital and our ongoing commitment to care for patients in this community,” she said.
The hospital’s internal medicine residency program has been fully accredited for 35 years, according to a statement released by Pipeline Health in light of ACGME’s decision. Pipeline Health included in its statement that “significant changes” had been made to the program over the last eight months to “improve the quality of the training experience.” ACGME records show that West Suburban’s internal medicine residency program was put on probationary status as of 2020.
West Suburban’s internal medicine residency program has 26 residents, 10 of whom will graduate at the end of this term. Those residents will receive final verification of training and status as a graduate from an ACGME-accredited program. Pipeline Health is looking to find reassignments for the program’s remaining 16 residents.
ACGME spokesperson Susan White was unable to provide details of the council’s actions and decisions regarding the accreditation of West Suburban’s internal medicine residency program, citing confidentiality.
While not withdrawn, the accreditation status is precarious for West Suburban’s family medicine residency program, the hospital’s only other graduate medical education training program. The family medicine residency program is currently on probationary accreditation and has been since October of last year. Prior to that, ACGME records show that program was placed on continued accreditation “with warning” on May 29, 2020.
In the meantime, the hospital is operating as usual and will continue to do so, according to Brust.
“West Suburban Medical Center remains fully staffed by physicians to continue caring for the patients we are privileged to serve,” Brust said.