By Lisa Gilmer MD, FAAP
Closure of the KU program will be bittersweet for many but it isn’t the end of residency training at KU. Starting in July, CMH residents will rotate at KU in the NICU, well baby nursery and ambulatory clinics including continuity clinic. Opportunities for KU based rotations and combined KU-CMH rotations will optimize the clinical and educational experiences for residents. KU Family Medicine residents will also be spending more time rotating on both inpatient and outpatient KU pediatric services. And of course, KU Pediatrics will continue to train medical students who’ll also have increased opportunities to complete part of their Pediatric Clerkship at CMH, now designated a principal teaching hospital of the KU School of Medicine.
Several key issues remain to be settled including the eventual size of the combined residency program. This is a very complicated matter with a myriad of regulatory, financial, legal and capacity issues that proved to be more than could be solved for the 2018 match. CMH did not expand their resident compliment this year resulting in a net loss of eight pediatric residency positions in Kansas City. For chapter members concerned about the workforce issues facing Kansas, this news may be concerning and I agree. There is a need for pediatricians in Kansas. AAMC statistics show 39% of all physicians who completed graduate medical education in Kansas now practice in Kansas. That number is 38% for Missouri and of those, 5% practice in Kansas. We want to keep good pediatricians in Kansas. As the KU residency program director I will continue to advocate for an expanded compliment in the combined program as one way to address the workforce need in Kansas. I will also advocate in my KAAP leadership role for the inclusion of these residents in the Kansas Chapter; a home where they will be welcomed as future Kansas pediatricians.