Hospital opts not to drop radiology residency program

St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City has decided to reverse course on an earlier decision to end its radiology residency program, and instead will keep it running through at least June 2014.

According to an article in the New York Times, radiology residents at St. Barnabas are paid $48,000 to $60,000, and the hospital receives about $150,000 for each resident from Medicare to cover medical malpractice and program education, which is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association. The decision to initially close the radiology residency program was made so that funding instead could be shifted to the training of primary care residents in order to meet the anticipated demand caused by the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

There was quite an uproar when St. Barnabas made it's announcement in February, but, according to an article in AuntMinnie.com, the hospital decided to change course after meeting with the residents and representatives of their union, the Committee of Interns and Residents.

"It was only fair to give them more notice," St. Barnabas spokesman Steven Clark told AuntMinnie. He added that a decision will be made later as to whether to continue the program past 2014. The extension will give fourth-year residents and interns the opportunity to complete their training, but still could leave first-, second- and third-year residents needing to find new situations.

Residents who are close to completing their training are satisfied with the school's decision, "because obviously that's a class that will get to finish now," Clark said. However, he added, "others still feel betwixt and between, and they'd like some guarantee that they can either finish their training or an opportunity to move their money with them, which is not going to happen."

In the meantime, according to AuntMinnie, a new osteopathic residence program is being developed near St. Barnabas at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, in conjunction with the New York Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Educational Consortium. The president of the consortium, David Broder, said in the article that the new program would have to be approved by the consortium as well as the American Osteopathic Association, but could possibly be in place by July of this year.

To learn more:
- see the article in the New York Times
- check out the article in AuntMinnie.com

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