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Teaching Doctors for More than 100 Years

Baystate Medical Center (Springfield Hospital) Interns Early 1900sIn 1914 Baystate Medical Center, then called Springfield Hospital, was first approved by the American Medical Association to teach resident interns.

Today, as the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate campus, we are recognized as a leader in medical education innovation—with some 350 residents and fellows in training and nearly 300 students participating in our 40 electives.

And, since 2017, we have welcomed medical students into our Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health Track—a focus on under-served rural and urban communities, and population health.

Training Programs Are a Pipeline for Local Doctors

“Many fall in love with the Pioneer Valley and choose to stay here for the rest of their careers.”—Dr. Koenigs

Dr. Kevin Hinchey, Associate Dean of Education at UMMS-Baystate, said one of the reasons Baystate Medical Center began its residency programs was to attract new doctors to the Pioneer Valley, with the hope that they would live and train in the Springfield area and then decide to practice locally after their residency.

“Some stay at Baystate to practice, while others may enter private practice in the community," says Dr. Laura Koenigs, Associate Program Director, Pediatrics Residency.

"Their remaining in the area allows us to address the physician shortage we have in Western Massachusetts. There are nearly 100 pediatricians alone in Western Massachusetts who completed their pediatric training at Baystate Children’s Hospital,” she said.

Teaching Hospitals Play a Big Role in Health Care

Academic medical centers like Baystate Medical Center serve as a training ground for more than 100,000 new physicians and other health professionals each year.

The nation’s nearly 400 teaching hospitals receive more than 40 percent of all transferred patients whose illnesses or injuries require a sophisticated level of technology and expertise not available elsewhere in the community, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges.

And, they are a vital part of America’s safety net, providing care to millions of the country’s uninsured. For example, each year Baystate Health provides more than $150 million in unreimbursed care to our patients.