The Boards of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) held a biannual Stakeholder Engagement Forum on Friday. The Forum explored the impact of the closure of Philadelphia-based Hahnemann University Hospital, which occurred earlier this year and was the largest permanent displacement of medical trainees in U.S. history.
The closure of Hahnemann displaced about 570 medical residents and fellows, including 55 international physicians sponsored by ECFMG to train on J-1 visas. According to Dr. William W. Pinsky, President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of FAIMER, several of the organizations represented at the Stakeholder Engagement Forum joined in a coordinated effort to assist the displaced trainees.
“The closing of Hahnemann University Hospital had a significant impact on the city of Philadelphia, especially its patients. It also was a wake-up call for our nation,” Dr. Pinsky said. “Given the economics of health care in the United States, such incidents are likely to happen again. By engaging with other leading organizations like those represented here today, we will be better prepared to coordinate efforts to protect the interests of patients and the physicians in training who are a vital part of our physician workforce.”
Forum participants included John Andrews, M.D., Vice President, GME Innovation, American Medical Association; David Johnson, Chief Assessment Officer, Federation of State Medical Boards; David Kountz, M.D., Board of Directors, Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers; John Prescott, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges; and Kevin Weiss, M.D., MPH, Chief Sponsoring Institutions and Clinical Learning Environment Officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. They joined ECFMG/FAIMER Trustees for the half-day session.
Held twice annually in Philadelphia, the Stakeholder Engagement Forums offer the opportunity for industry thought leaders to share perspectives on emerging trends and pressing issues and to strengthen partnerships among organizations involved in medical education and health care worldwide.