Approval of new pediatric residency program helps improve care for children and families in Nevada

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), and Renown Health are pleased to announce the accreditation of a new three-year pediatric residency program with the Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education (ACGME). The inaugural cohort of pediatric residents will begin next summer, in July 2023. The new residency will help shape future pediatric practices – and fill a shortage of medical specialists statewide and nationwide. Over a three-year period, four newly trained physicians will be selected each year for a total staff of twelve residents.

“Creating a pediatric residency program for our community has been a dream of more than five years,” said Max Coppes, MD, Ph.D., MBA, former Nell J. Redfield Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and Chief Pediatrician at Renown Children’s Hospital. “Currently, UNR Med students who wish to become pediatricians must leave the region to complete their residency elsewhere. The Pennington Foundation has paved the way for this program, which will create a pipeline of much-needed pediatricians for our state, especially underserved and rural areas, to serve Nevada’s vulnerable children and families with high-quality, affordable care. .

The vision to evolve pediatric services into a full-fledged children’s hospital with a strong academic department of pediatrics in Reno began in 2014 when Renown Health and UNR Med agreed to recruit an academic pediatrician who would serve in the Chair of Pediatrics at UNR Med and Chief Pediatrician at Renown Children’s Hospital. The Nell J. Redfield Foundation donated $1.5 million to this initiative and expressed the hope that a pediatric residency program be established for the community. After Dr. Max Coppes was recruited for this position in 2016, the William N. Pennington Foundation recognized the need for improved pediatric care and expertise and donated $7.5 million to Renown Children’s Hospital to create the William N. Pennington Fund for Advanced Pediatric Care. . Thanks to these donations, 100,000 children in the region now have access to more than 15 specialist pediatricians, including those specializing in oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology, emergency medicine, urology and other sub-specialties that were previously lacking in the community. as well as a pediatric emergency room, Pediatric ICU and contemporary health services at Renown Children’s Hospital. Prior to 2016, approximately 30% of all pediatric patients had to leave northern Nevada to receive the specialized care they needed. Today, thanks to donor support, Renown estimates that 97% of all pediatric patients and their families can receive general and specialist pediatric care locally. The next closest children’s hospital in the state is 7 hours or 438 miles from Las Vegas.

Dr. Melissa Piasecki, Acting Dean of NUR Med and Director of Studies for Renown, explained, “Residencies are specialized training programs for doctors after they graduate from medical school. Before becoming licensed physicians, medical school graduates undergo three or more years of training under more experienced “attending” physicians. She adds, “This new residence is a tremendous step forward for UNR Med Affiliation and Renown Health – and for our entire community. This pediatric residency program advances a mutual commitment to recruiting and retaining competent and compassionate physicians and healthcare professionals, improving access to healthcare, and investing in clinical research that improves the health of this generation and the next. Within the NUR Med-Renown Affiliate, we have established an Integrated Graduate Medical Education Consortium Council (GME-CC) to provide strategic oversight and growth of residency programs within the Affiliate. In this agreement, UNR Med is the sponsoring institution for accreditation and Renown Health and the VA are the clinical training partners. The process went so well; within six months of affiliation, the GME-CC voted in favor of a new pediatric residency. This is a great addition to our existing residencies at UNR Med, which include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Sciences, and provides our students with an excellent pediatric training opportunity.

the Nevada shortage; ranks 45th for physicians and 47th in the United States for pediatricians.

Nevada faces a severe shortage of medical workers, ranking 45th in the nation for active physicians per 100,000 population. The medical workforce shortage is especially critical for pediatricians, with Nevada ranking 47th in the nation with fewer than 10 pediatricians per 100,000 population. The northern Nevada community is growing rapidly, and Washoe County faces additional shortages of pediatricians as local doctors near retirement.

“This new residency is an opportunity to train the next generation of pediatricians who will want to continue providing care in northern Nevada,” said Kristina Deeter, MD, MBA, FAAP, UNR Med Interim Chair of Pediatrics and Chief Medical Officer. at Renown Children’s Hospital. “Our community continues to grow. This new pediatric residency training program will ensure Nevada has a supply of exceptional and compassionate physicians now and in the future. With our exceptional team of existing pediatricians, pediatric specialists, medical teams and support staff, we are committed to providing a comprehensive and rewarding educational experience for our interns.

“This is truly a dream come true. We are indebted to the entire team who built the structure, recruited faculty to support the training program, and successfully recruited a Program Director, Dr. Caroline Barangan, and a Director Associate Program Officer, Dr. Shilpi Garg, a 2012 (’12) UNR Med alumnus,” said Lawrence Duncan, MS, vice president and administrator of Renown Women & Children’s Hospital. Summer 2023, we will add the foundational elements needed to ensure program success, including recruiting a Chief Resident, ongoing faculty development, and ensuring all elements are in place for recruitment, teaching , supervising and mentoring residents.

“One of the biggest barriers to increasing the number of physicians to care for our growing community is the relative lack of pediatric residency programs in the state and the lack of a program in Northern Nevada. Pediatrics residency programs recruit and train students who are completing medical school and wish to pursue residency training to become pediatricians,” says Caroline Barangan, MD, pediatric residency program director, Renown Health and UNR Med. “Workforce research consistently shows that students who complete residency tend to stay and practice in the communities where they completed their residency training program. For those completing medical school and their residency in the same location, more than 75% stay to practice in that community.

“In August, recognizing the need to expand the state’s medical workforce in high-need specialties, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology announced funding five residency and graduate medical fellowship programs, including $870,433 for the NUR Pediatric Medical Residency Program,” said Christine Bosse, director of government affairs at Renown Health. “Nevada produces more undergraduate medical students than it has residencies and scholarships available. Additionally, Nevada lacks scholarships in certain specialties that students are interested in. As a result, many highly educated students have to leave the state to continue their education at a time when they are beginning to apply their higher education in the real world.We appreciate that GME grant funding will help the state and our community attract , train and retain more doctors for Nevada.

“This new community-based program will provide residents with a strong foundation in primary care pediatrics as well as broad and in-depth exposure to all pediatric subspecialties. This will create graduates who are equally well-prepared for careers in general pediatrics, serving rural and underserved communities across the state, or in academia,” added David Carlson, MD, NUR Med Associate Dean, Medical Education. superior; Designated Institutional Agent. , pediatric residents will spend their 36-month residency focused on child care and complete a primary care-focused clinical training program with rotations that will allow them to learn while caring for children in a hospital setting and outpatient clinic with supervising pediatricians and pediatric specialists at Renown Children’s Hospital.”

“The pediatric residency program is a wonderful opportunity to continue a tradition of academic excellence alongside Renown Health’s record of clinical excellence,” said Brian Sandoval, president of the University of Nevada, Reno. “This is another way for our membership, signed in 2021, to establish the first fully integrated healthcare system in Nevada, help expand clinical training and clinical research programs as well as improve access to clinical care for all Nevadans.”

“We are proud to partner with UNR Med to bring this new residency program to our community,” said Thomas Graf, MD, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Renown Health, “Attracting and retaining talent is a key part of our commitment to excellence as a leader in care and our common goal to improve the health of our community.We are fortunate to have the strong infrastructure necessary to create this program and a team of highly qualified physicians who can training the next generation of paediatricians.

For the 2023 residency application cycle, UNR Medicine will participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and encourage applicants to visit the UNR Med GME website for more information.

Comments are closed.