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Mather Launches Internal Medicine Residency Program

Mather Hospital will welcome its first class of medical residents for the 2014-2015 academic year beginning July 1. The residents will be part of Mather’s new Internal Medicine Residency Program, an allopathic program that will emphasize primary care and is the first of several planned medical residencies at the hospital.

On Jan. 29, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education gave the residency program provisional accreditation, the highest approval given to a new program. The residency is sponsored by Stony Brook Medicine. Frederick Schiavone, MD, Stony Brook’s Vice Dean for Graduate Medical Education, worked closely with Mather leadership in developing the program, which will accept up to 15 residents into a three-year program and four residents into a one-year preliminary program. A new group of residents will be accepted into the program each year.

“I was confident that we would receive accreditation as expected due to the excellence of physicians, nurses, leadership and staff at Mather Hospital,” said Lucien Cardinal, MD, Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

The residency program is part of the new Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program at Mather, which also plans to begin residencies in Family Practice Medicine, Psychiatry and Transitional Year.

“We will be working with the new residents to improve collaboration, forming teams with nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and dietitians to bring the quality of care to the highest level,” said Michael Tofano, MD, Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program responsible for oversight in inpatient areas. In addition, as Chairperson for the Clinical Competency Committee, Dr. Tofano will oversee advancement of residents through their training. Dr. Tofano also is Director of the Hospitalist Service at Mather.

“It has been such a great pleasure working with the entire team on this project. This is an exciting time for Mather,” said Joan Faro, MD, Mather’s Chief Medical Officer, who has been instrumental in establishing the GME Program. “Our program will provide a nurturing and learning environment for our resident physicians and will emphasize the importance of primary care in the creation of population health.” The Office of Medical Affairs will oversee the Internal Medicine Residency Program.

The GME program was created in part to address the projected growing shortage of doctors and increased demand for primary care physicians. A study by the Healthcare Association of New York State found that more than 1,200 doctors are needed statewide, one third of them in primary care.

Under the Affordable Care Act, projections are that an additional 1.2 million New Yorkers will be covered by health insurance, adding to the demand for primary care physicians. At the same time, large numbers of our community members are entering their retirement years, when healthcare utilization dramatically increases.

“We believe some doctors who completed their residencies at Mather will choose to stay and practice in our beautiful community and become the care providers for our families and neighbors,” said Mather President Kenneth Roberts.