King/Drew Medical Center Accepted Residents After Withdrawal of Radiology Program Accreditation
Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in March accepted four residents to a radiology program after the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education had withdrawn accreditation for the program, the Los Angeles Times reports. In October 2002, an ACGME official in a letter informed King/Drew that "no residents may be newly appointed to the program" unless hospital officials appealed the withdrawal of accreditation; King/Drew did not appeal. However, King/Drew officials sent letters to the four residents they would begin participation in the radiology program on July 1, 2004, one day after ACGME said that the hospital must end the program. Los Angeles County health officials on Monday began an investigation to determine why King/Drew accepted the residents for the radiology program. Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, the county health director, said, "That's stupid. ... There's no reason to do that." Garthwaite added that the county will use additional resources to find the four residents a new radiology program within the county and may agree to pay salaries for the residents to encourage other programs to accept them. Dr. Theodore Miller, interim director of the King/Drew radiology program, said that the acceptance of the residents did not violate any rules because the hospital did not issue them legal contracts. Miller added that King/Drew informed the residents before and after their acceptance that the radiology program may not exist at the time of their scheduled start date.
In related news, ACGME informed King/Drew officials on Friday that the hospital will have to close a general surgery residency program on June 30, 2004 (Weber/Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 10/14). ACGME revoked accreditation for the program after a review found that the program had two more residents than the 38 allowed; ACGME placed the program on probation last year because residents did not receive an adequate amount of surgical experience, faculty research was inadequate and the curriculum did not meet recommended guidelines (California Healthline, 9/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.