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Training Doctors for More than 100 Years

August 05, 2016
Baystate Medical Center (Springfield Hospital) Interns Early 1900s

Springfield Hospital, which in 1976 became Baystate Medical Center, was first approved by the American Medical Association to teach interns in 1914.

Today, some 367 residents and fellows in 10 residency and 20 fellowship programs are in training at Baystate, which is now the regional campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“Each year our Baystate residents, fellows and other learners bring an enthusiasm and joy to healthcare and education that elevates the quality and safety of the care that we deliver to our patients and community,” said Dr. Michael Rosenblum, Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency.

“Our new residents arrive with innovative ideas and perspectives and boundless energy that drive us all to be better educators and role models for this next generation of caregivers. They are special people who will help our Baystate team to improve healthcare in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,” said Rosenblum.

Training Programs Attract Doctors to the Pioneer Valley

Meet Dr. Anna Clarke

This first-year internal medicine resident has two very good reasons for choosing Baystate.

Dr. Kevin Hinchey, Chief Education Officer for Baystate Health, 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.

Many Graduates Fall in Love with Western Mass

Dr. Laura Koenigs, Program Director, Pediatrics Residency, notes that once these new residents begin their training, “Many fall in love with the Pioneer Valley and choose to stay here for the rest of their careers.”

“Some choose to stay at Baystate to practice while others may enter private practice in the community or work in a variety of healthcare settings. 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.

In fact, after completing their residencies and fellowships at Baystate in June 2016, nine doctors chose to continue their practice locally at the hospital in the areas of anesthesiology, medicine, endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, cytopathology, and pediatrics. 

New Medical School Track a Pipeline for Local Doctors

Baystate Health offers the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health track—a new pathway toward a medical degree—in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

PURCH prepares medical students to practice medicine in diverse urban and rural communities, focusing on under-served populations, with the goal of increasing the availability of effective and efficient primary care in the local community.

Teaching Hospitals Have Big Role in Nation’s Health Care

Meet Dr. Monique Abrams

Now a first-year resident at Baystate Children’s Hospital, she detoured into the culinary arts on the road to her pediatrics training at Baystate.

Training Ground for Many Health Care Professionals

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 hospital offers many other health care education programs in addition to its residency and fellowship programs. In 2015, 296 medical students completed clerkships and electives in various specialties, along with 924 nursing students and over 600 allied health students from local colleges and universities, who completed clinical training as part of their associate, baccalaureate, master’s and post-doctoral work.

Advanced Care by Experts

The nation’s nearly 400 teaching hospitals are where millions of Americans go for specialized surgeries, life-saving care, and complex treatments.

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. In 2015, for example, Baystate Health provided more than $131 million in unreimbursed care to our patients.