July 15, 2008

U. Of C. To Teach Evanston Doctors: University to Take Spot Vacated By Northwestern

By Bruce Japsen, Chicago Tribune

Jul. 15--The University of Chicago said Monday that it has signed an affiliation agreement with Evanston Northwestern Healthcare to educate and train future doctors for a "portion of their educational experience," at Evanston's three hospitals in the northern suburbs.

Evanston Northwestern confirmed last month it was ending its 78-year relationship with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and was in discussion with U. of C. about beginning a new association.

Following a one-year transition that began July 1, residents and students from the training programs of the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine will begin training in 2009 at Evanston Northwestern facilities that include hospitals in Evanston, Highland Park and Glenview.

"Both organizations have many similarities across their missions of teaching and research," said Dr. James Madara, chief executive of the University of Chicago Medical Center. "But we also have a variety of differences in our enterprise strategies that actually complement rather than compete with one another."

Teaching hospitals are different from community hospitals in that they not only provide patient care but also train doctors and perform research.

Such relationships can be helpful in marketing, as well as in luring top doctors, the brightest students and aspiring physicians.

The University of Chicago's primary training site for residents and students will remain the University of Chicago Medical Center, a major teaching hospital in the city's South Side Hyde Park neighborhood.

Evanston Northwestern's facilities, which will train 200 residents and students through various programs and rotations, will become the primary off-site training site for the U. of C., which will maintain its smaller programs at several other hospitals, including MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn and Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on Chicago's South Side.

The new relationship came about in large part following a squabble over Northwestern University's demand for more money from Evanston Northwestern to continue its teaching affiliation.

The university also wanted control over research and teaching programs.

Northwestern University residents currently training at Evanston Northwestern hospitals will transition in the next year to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and other hospitals.

Northwestern University has several other outlets for its residents and students, including Children's Memorial Hospital and The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Eventually, Evanston Northwestern will remove the Northwestern name from the parent corporation of its hospitals. The new name has not been decided on but executives said it is not expected to include "University of Chicago" and should be announced this fall.

Evanston Northwestern Chief Executive Mark Neaman said the affiliation will be marketed and could lead to a stronger relationship between the hospital operator and University of Chicago.

For example, the 800 doctors at the three suburban hospitals that now have faculty appointments at Northwestern University and will be applying for faculty positions at the U. of C. could develop relationships with the South Side academic medical center that could lead to some patient referrals from Evanston's suburban hospitals.

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