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VOL. 132 | NO. 40 | Friday, February 24, 2017

Resurrection Residency Program Awarded 10-Year Accreditation

By Andy Meek

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Resurrection Health is a faith-based health service organization working to address health disparities in Memphis partly through a residency program that trains residents in multiple disciplines along the family medicine and primary care spectrum. And in recent days, that residency program got a big stamp of approval.


Resurrection Family Medicine, which has the capacity to train 24 doctors each year, has been granted a 10-year accreditation cycle following a two-part site visit from the Residency Review Committee for Family Medicine.

That’s part of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the 10-year accreditation is the longest cycle granted.

“It means that the accrediting body is confident enough in what we’ve done, even in just the relatively short time we’ve been accredited independently,” said Dr. Rick Donlon, CEO of Resurrection Health. “They have no areas of concern, and to get the longest possible accreditation until the next review is a strong vote of confidence the program is delivering a good education to the young doctors.”

As part of the accreditation process, inspectors visited Resurrection Health clinics and Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. hospitals in Memphis, Collierville and Tipton County, where the residents care for patients. Residents participating in the Resurrection Family Medicine program work in health centers in underserved Memphis communities as well as overseas in areas of extreme poverty.

Resurrection Health residents also rotate at Baptist hospitals – including the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital, which is part of Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, and Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis – where they focus on surgery, obstetrics, pediatric medicine and pediatric emergency care.

Of 23 residents currently in the Resurrection program, only two are from Tennessee. Resurrection says that’s partly because Baptist’s setting attracts top-tier applicants from around the world. In addition to hosting Resurrection Family Medicine residents, Baptist and Church Health also co-sponsor a family medicine residency now halfway through its inaugural year.

Baptist “is invested in providing the best patient care in the Mid-South,” said Dr. Anne Sullivan, chief quality and academic officer with Baptist Medical Group. “Through excellent graduate medical education programs, such as those provided by Resurrection Health and Church Health, we can achieve that goal and help improve the health of our community.”

One of the outcomes of the Resurrection program is that almost half of the 17 residents who’ve completed their training so far have chosen to stay in Memphis. That’s due in part to the connections that students have made with the city and patients through their work.

Of the other participants Resurrection Health has graduated, five are working among low-income populations in other cities and three are practicing abroad.

Donlon points out that specialty training begins after medical school, and depending on the specialty, it can take years.

“This is the three years post-medical school, so these people are medical doctors,” he said. “They’re learning how to take care of people in the hospital and in the community. And in our case, family medicine is a very broad discipline, so they get a wide exposure to lots of patients and populations, and in our situation the residency is specifically designed to help physicians work in lower-income settings.”

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