U of Chicago neurosurgery training program put on probation

This must be a bit awkward for a prominent academic institution like the University of Chicago, even though nobody's suggesting that it's done any harm to patients. The U of Chicago Medical Center's neurosurgery training program has been put on probation for two years. The decision apparently comes because the school has lost several clinical faculty members of late, which has cut down on patient volume and reduced students' opportunities to practice their craft.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has placed the U of C's program on probation until June 2011. The well-known neurosurgery program, one of the oldest such programs in the United States, keeps about a dozen residents in training. While the ACGME won't cite the reason for its decision for 60 days, the school is anticipating that the loss of several clinical faculty members during 2007, which was followed by a 10 percent decrease in patient volume, was what triggered the decision.

A loss of accreditation, though not an immediate threat, could be catastrophic for the program, which would bar it from receiving graduate medical education funding from CMS and make residents ineligible to take board certification exams.

A turnaround may be on the way, however. The school has just put a new affiliation into place with Evanston, IL-based NorthShore University Health System, which has helped it to recruit new faculty members.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Chicago Tribune article

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