Hospital Residency Program To Stay Open Despite Budget Crunch
San Joaquin General Hospital's Family Medicine Residency program will stay open until at least summer 2008, contrary to recommendations last week by a county official to close the program, the Stockton Record reports.
Ken Cohen, County Health Care Services director, on March 27 recommended cutting the family medicine program along with other programs to reduce a budget deficit at the hospital that could reach $17 million by this summer. However, Cohen said the suggestion to close the program "struck an emotional chord" at the hospital and prompted him to keep it open until 2008.
The program is one of three residency programs at the hospital that train about 50 physicians. The other two programs are not being evaluated for potential closure, according to Cohen.
Deborah Simon-Weisberg, an attending physician in the family residency program, said a clinic that is operated through the program is facing a shortage in patients, a situation that contributes to the budget deficit.
The program last year was placed on probation because of the low patient volume at the clinic and other issues. Further problems could cause the program to lose accreditation, according to the Record (Kane, Stockton Record, 4/6).