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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac medical school introduces anesthesiology residency program

Jack Muscatello
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited Quinnipiac University’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine in September to host an anesthesiology residency. The new program is slated to begin in July 2024.

Quinnipiac University received accreditation to launch an anesthesiology residency program at the university’s medical school next year, according to a Sept. 18 post to X, formerly Twitter.

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine’s new residency program is based at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. However, the residency, which is located within the Hartford Healthcare system, also has several clinical rotations in a New York medical center. The only other Connecticut universities with anesthesiology residency programs are the University of Connecticut and Yale University.

Students can apply for Quinnipiac’s anesthesiology program through The Electronic Residency Application Service. Applications are accepted from September to January, and then those who are accepted will go through an interview process. Then the National Residency Matching Program matches the students to programs they are most interested in. Quinnipiac’s three-year anesthesiology residency program is currently approved for four students per year, for a total of 12 residents.

In June 2021, the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing abruptly announced the discontinuation of the nurse anesthesia program due to a lack of students and financial reasons, leaving students uncertain about whether they were going to graduate. 

Dr. Scott Kurtzman, assistant dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official, said university officials applied to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in September 2022 to obtain the residency program. The program organizers received a tentative accreditation letter, which determines if a graduate medical program meets standards of quality, from the ACGME in April 2022 before receiving a definitive letter this September. The start date of the program will be July 1, 2024.

Kurtzman emphasized that there is a demand for anesthesiologists across the United States. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that there will be a shortage of 12,500 anesthesiologists by 2033 — 30% of its current anesthesiology staff.

“So, (the university’s decision to start the residency) was based on the quality of the program and availability, the need for anesthesiologists in the country in general and to satisfy the needs of the medical school students,” Kurtzman said.

The benefit of this program, Kurtzman said, is that students get to work in a hospital setting alongside anesthesiologists.

“They’ll get to see if they like this program, and it gives them another place where they’ll have a lot of exposure,” Kurtzman said. “So if they want to become anesthesiologists, hopefully they can match to our program.”

Dr. Vlad Frenk, the residency program director, helped submit the application to the ACGME and works with the residency students. Upon joining St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Frenk said he noticed Quinnipiac medical students had limited exposure to anesthesiology.

“We discussed it with the medical school and changed the way that medical students rotate with us, we increased their time and exposure and that resulted in an increased interest in their art in our field,” Frenk said.

A residency position, Frenk said, is a training stage following a student’s graduation from medical school. The resident’s specialty determines the number of years it takes to complete the program.

He said the government and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determines the number of people accepted into a residency.

Frenk commented that in addition to a shortage of anesthesiologists, there is also a shortage of training positions for anesthesiologists in the United States. He said that is why increasing the amount of programs is important to accommodate more students.

“Last year, only about 60% of students who applied were able to find a position, so 40% of people could not get into a program,” Frenk said.

Quinnipiac officials ultimately aim to increase the overall number of anesthesiologists through the program, Frenk explained.

“Our team feels confident based on the wide variety of the surgeries that we do and the level of expertise that we possess, that we will be able to train well-versed anesthesiologists who would be able to practice cutting-edge medicine and we’re happy to raise the new generation of physicians,” Frenk said.

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Krystal Miller
Krystal Miller, Associate Arts & Life Editor
Jack Muscatello
Jack Muscatello, Digital Managing Editor

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