UB Medical Residency Programs
August 12, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Both the UB medical school and graduate medical education are
evolving in a positive way. The new downtown campus will
consolidate resources and build a critical mass for education and
research. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical
Education’s (ACGME) Next Accreditation System was developed
in response to reports from the Institute of Medicine and inquiries
from Congress and the public that made it clear that physician
training nationwide needs to more explicitly focus on patient
safety, communication, and teamwork. Adapting to this new culture
has occurred more easily in some programs than others. A
significant, positive sign this year is that fifty per cent more
students graduating from the UB medical school have chosen a UB
residency than did last year.
What is a medical resident?
A medical resident has received his or her medical degree and is
enrolled in an organized education program that entails providing
patient care under supervision of faculty in a hospital or clinic.
A residency is required in order to become eligible for board
certification in the U.S. Residencies range from 3 to 7 years,
depending on the medical specialty.
How are UB’s medical residencies administered?
The Office of Graduate Medical Education in the UB School of
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences administers UB’s 60
residency programs, which are accredited by the ACGME.
Approximately 780 residents and fellows from UB provide patient
care throughout the hospitals of Western New York.
What is the current status of UB’s 60 residency programs?
All but 3 have full accreditation. The residency programs in
general surgery and pediatric surgery have probationary
accreditation as a result of issues related to the learning
environment and culture, and because of a faculty retirement, which
are now being addressed.
The residency program in dermatology was put on probation
following the abrupt resignation of four faculty members. That
program now has been withdrawn, reconfigured and resubmitted to the
ACGME. A successful ACGME site visit has already occurred and a
decision will be issued in the fall.
How is UB addressing the probations?
The relocation of the medical school to the Buffalo Niagara
Medical Campus is transforming medicine in WNY. The residency
programs are among many components being transformed by new chairs
in the medical school and new leadership who understand the
importance of these transformations.
It was important to install the proper leadership. To that
end, in the past year, the UB medical school has appointed 12 new
program directors and 6 new clinical chairs. Four additional
clinical chair searches are now underway. The average tenure
of a program director at UB is 7 years; in surgery, a program
director had served for 20 years. In September 2012, a new program
director for general surgery was named, who is emphasizing teamwork
and resident participation in decision-making, which aligns well
with the New Accreditation System.
How does consolidation in a new medical school on the downtown BNMC help the residency programs at UB?
It creates identity and opportunities for interactions to
strengthen faculty allegiance to UB and its educational mission as
opposed to faculty identifying their educational responsibilities
only as hospital-centric. UB medical school faculty and students as
well as our partner hospitals all belong to the greater Academic
Health Center downtown, that’s the image and identity we all
belong to and moving downtown helps cement that.
How is the culture of resident education changing nationally?
In the new culture, residents are actively engaged in setting
their own educational standards, participating in their education
and getting involved in quality improvement. The phase we’re
entering now is the Next Accreditation System (NAS), which is
focused on integration of research into their learning environment
on quality control, safety, health disparities, interdisciplinary
This is completely different from the way that residency
programs were run 5-15 years ago. In general surgery, leadership
was in that role for many years and changing that culture is
difficult. In some programs, there was clearly a hierarchy that was
considered the best way to train.
How do these changes affect health care in WNY?
Emphasis on patient safety is recognition of how important
residents are to patient care. We’re transforming health care
in WNY. The SMBS is a major leader geographically and with new
leadership is strengthening and improving our training programs to
appropriately be fully compliant with 21 Century training
requirements. We have proof we’re heading in the right
--UB’s residency programs are being granted increasing
--Fifty per cent more students graduating from the UB medical
school have chosen a UB residency than did last year. (Story: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/03/027.html)
--UB was one of 10 institutions in the U.S. selected to host the
Gold Humanism Honor Society
--There has been a steady increase in the number of scholarly
posters in basic, translational and quality research at annual
Scholarly Exchange day.