But residents say they were otherwise largely kept in the dark.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 38 – No 08 – August 2019
“We had been hearing about it in the news, and a lot of faculty weren’t that concerned. They said that it’s a major hospital and it would be impossible for it to fold in a matter of months,” said Dr. Abrishamian. “I got notice of the closure through group chat, and it’s all been secondhand information from the news.”
In a letter to colleagues, Drexel’s president, John Fry, wrote: “We have been preparing for some months for this unfortunate outcome, even as we did everything possible … to prevent the closure of Hahnemann, which has a long and storied history with the College of Medicine, and with the city of Philadelphia.”
Residents have been scrambling to find new placements, a process complicated by uncertainty over when their funding will be released, which many of the programs accepting transferring residents would require. (The hospital has since announced a timeline for releasing the funding.) Some new residents had only just arrived in Philadelphia when the hospital announced its closure. On July 24, Hahnemann announced that it will be releasing the residents’ funding, with plans for all funding to be released Aug. 6.3 Residents will continue to be paid until Aug. 25 or until they start at a new residency program.
Support from Colleagues in Medicine
Residents say they have received a tremendous amount of support from program faculty, professional organizations, and other area hospitals, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Temple University Hospital, which have agreed—like other area institutions—to take on as many of Hahnemann’s residents as they can.
“The emergency medicine resident community stands united and we applaud the ongoing work of multiple organizations including the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education), AMA (American Medical Association), CORD (Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine), and ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates),” wrote Hannah Hughes, MD, MBA, President-Elect of the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), in a statement for ACEP Now. “EMRA has reached out to the Drexel EM community to offer our full support as the program and trainees find a solution to continue their commitment to education and patient care. We stand ready to assist in any way, shape, or form.”
Local program directors came together on July 17 to offer residents a citywide interview day “to offset the stress of interviewing,” said Dr. Calhoun, who, with her husband, owns a home in the area and is hoping to stay in the region, although she is also considering the best next step for her career.