Methodist Hospitals Partnership with Northwestern University 

Jul 29

Methodist Hospitals partners with Northwestern University to become a clinical training site for their emergency medicine residency program.

Methodist Hospitals has partnered with Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Center in new program that offers unique training to post-graduate emergency medical residents.

Methodist Hospitals and the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University have entered into an exciting new partnership. Post-graduate resident physicians receiving specialty training in emergency medicine from Northwestern will now be a staple in the Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus’ (Gary) emergency department. The partnership will bring three new post-graduate resident physicians to the Northlake campus’ emergency department in Gary each month. A total of 33 residents are expected to participate in this program each year, and will work within the emergency department for four weeks. More importantly, all residents reporting to the emergency department will experience treating patients in an underserved community, who often have complex medical conditions and social circumstances. The partnership is planned for at least the next five years.

The new partnership brings many benefits to the patients of Methodist Hospitals, as well as to the Northwestern residents themselves. Medical Director of Emergency Services at Methodist, Michael McGee M.D., is excited about the partnership and the benefits it will bring to the patients. “One of the most significant benefits that our partnership with Northwestern will bring is the increased amount of services that are offered to our patients. Rather than being seen by just one doctor, our patients will now be seen by two. The residents which are part of the program, as well as our staff emergency department physicians, will now see each patient and treat them as a team.” The increased amount of doctors in the emergency department will also inevitably lead to shorter wait times for patients. In the previous years the national average for emergency department wait times has become increasingly longer. Waiting periods are longer due, in part, to an increase in uninsured patients as well as a decrease in number of emergency physicians available to provide care. According to Dr. McGee, “Overcrowding is always an issue in every ED. By increasing the amount of doctors on the floor available to see our patients, throughput (the rate at which patients are seen and treated) is greatly increased. This means that we encounter fewer backups in the ED, which in turn leads to quicker responses to patients’ treatment needs.” Although patients are seen by a resident, this does not mean that they will not be seen by one of Methodist’s regular staff emergency physicians. All patients being cared for by one of the residents will also be evaluated and treated by one of Methodist’s staff emergency physicians as well. According to Dr. McGee this means that, “patients are seen by twice as many doctors which means twice as much time, attention and feedback for the patients.”

The resident doctors from Northwestern will receive excellent benefits from the partnership as well. The emergency department at Methodist’s Northlake campus offers a unique training experience to the resident doctors. The uniqueness comes from the fact that there is a more severe degree of illness including many more instances of patients with penetrating trauma than in a typical emergency department. Penetrating trauma is easily defined as injuries involving some sort of foreign object piercing and entering the body. Examples of penetrating trauma are gunshot and knife wounds. By being exposed to these sorts of unique trauma as a resident, the doctors expand their skill sets and practice procedures that would, in other situations, be considered rare. These experiences can later prove to be invaluable from a training perspective. Katrina Leone, MD is one of the first residents to finish her stay at Methodist. Dr. Leone stated that, “I have really enjoyed my time at Methodist. The staff is extremely friendly and I have been able to experience some really exciting trauma cases. While working on these cases I was also able to experience some new procedures. It has really been a great experience working here.” Another resident from Northwestern, Shana Kusin, MD is also nearing the end of her stay at Methodist. “I really value my time here at Methodist. I have been able to work with many excellent doctors and some really interesting cases. Experiencing a different patient population is also always very important.”

The partnership between Methodist and Northwestern was determined to be a natural fit when reviewed by both parties. Our Associate Director of Emergency Services, Geoffrey Bauer, M.D. is a graduate of Northwestern and initiated discussions to develop this partnership. As a former graduate of the training program, he knows that “Methodist offers a unique learning experience to the resident doctors due to the medical complexity of the cases we treat at Methodist as well as the challenges of providing high quality medical care to an underserved, urban community. The socioeconomic characteristics of our patient population and type of illness and injury we treat here at Methodist complement the training the residents receive at their home institution, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.”

Partnering with an academic institution is also consistent with Methodists’ long-term goal of becoming a teaching hospital (training all major medical specialties) in partnership with Indiana University Northwest. Pat Bankston, PhD Assistant Dean, Director and Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine was quoted as saying, "Our expansion and development of third and fourth year programs for medical students at IU School of Medicine Northwest will directly benefit from Methodist’s new partnership. The presence of Northwestern residents at Methodist's Northlake Campus emergency room presents a great value to our medical students who will be completing their required Emergency Medicine course there. The team of attending physician, resident and medical student is standard in teaching hospitals and enhances the ER experience of our students. It is an exciting new development in our IUSM-NW/Methodist partnership."

Ian McFadden, CEO of Methodist Hospitals, stated that, “I am excited about our partnership with Northwestern, a top ten academic center, and feel that it is a strong reflection of the quality of services that we provide at Methodist Hospitals. Northwestern sets high standards of care for itself and its partners. This partnership reinforces our commitment to being a leader in sub-specialty care and raises the quality of care received at our emergency department. The partnership works out to be a win-win situation for both parties. In addition, this partnership with Northwestern further strengthens our commitment to excellence and medical education in our pursuit to become a medical teaching hospital/facility.”

These sentiments were echoed by Michael Davenport, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs. “As a provider of medical education, our focus will also be that of facilitating a strong emergency centered academic partnership between Methodist and the McGraw Medical Center of Northwestern University. We anticipate a very unique richness in this partnership as the resident’s training will be enhanced by the diverse educational expertise of our emergency department faculty and staff.”

For more information or to interview/photograph Methodist Hospital employees, please contact me, my contact information is located below.

Amber Raza
Marketing and Corporate Communications
P: 219.886.4474
F: 219.886.4592

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