CNS - The program to train cardiologists at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center has been stripped of its national accreditation by the Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, it was recently reported. The decision, which takes effect in a year, marks the first time a residency or fellowship program at the Boyle Heights facility has lost accreditation, the Los Angeles Times reported. The council faulted the program for “insufficient teaching time by the faculty,” Jane Brust, a spokeswoman for USC’s Keck School of Medicine, told the newspaper.
County-USC is one of the region’s premier teaching hospitals, with 52 residency and fellowship programs. The university hopes to fix the problems and have the 21-year-old cardiology program recertified before June 30, 2009, when the accreditation is to be withdrawn, The Times reported. It is rare for a residency program to have its accreditation involuntarily withdrawn by the council. In the 2006-07 academic year, just 12 programs across the nation were stripped of approval, out of about 2,000 that were up for re-accreditation, according to The Times. Brust told The Times that the problems in the program never compromised the quality of patient care. She said the university plans to hire additional faculty and nurse practitioners to assist with patient care. Additional staffing would free up time for teaching.