IUN to open area’s first medical residency program in 2019 - January 24, 2017

Courtesy of The Gary 411 • January 24, 2017

Contributed By:The 411 News

Nine medical facilities will help train new doctors

Their future is here, in northwest Indiana, for Indiana University Northwest Medical School students.

With the signing of a Letter of Intent Tuesday morning in the atrium of the Dunes Medical Center at IUN, local hospitals, community health centers, and mental health centers agreed to the formation of the area’s first medical residency program.

Starting in 2019, IUN medical school grads can begin their 4-year residency as physicians at The Methodist Hospitals, Community Healthcare System, La Porte Hospital, Porter Health Care System, Community HealthNet Health Centers, HealthLinc Community Health Centers, Edgewater Behavioral Health Services, Regional Mental Health Center, and Porter-Starke Services.

The group of facilities have formed a non-profit – Northwest Indiana Graduate Medical Education Consortium –to seek state startup funds, as well as to plan and implement residency programs in family medicine, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry.

The residency program gives an added status to healthcare and healthcare education in northwest Indiana. There is a doctor shortage across the U.S., especially in family medicine. As more doctors start their training in the area, many are likely to stay here and help reduce the shortage locally. Eventually, the program hopes to attract patients who travel from northwest Indiana to university hospitals in Chicago.

Patrick Bankston, the medical school’s Associate Dean said, “Every sizeable population in Indiana has at least one residency program; we hope to have several.”

For students who reside in the area, being able to complete medical school and their residency close to home helps reduce the very high cost of 12 years of schooling. “What makes it so beautiful for me is I went to undergrad here,” said Emily Switzer. “I’m in my second year of med school and I intend to do my residency here.”

Up to 165 residencies have been proposed by the partner institutions for the first year.