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Kern Medical To Lose One Of Its Residency Programs

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Kern Medical
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Kern County

The San Joaquin Valley will soon have fewer training opportunities for doctors; one of Kern Medical’s residency programs is losing its accreditation.

Kern Medical CEO Russell Judd says he doesn’t yet know why the hospital’s residency program in surgery will need to shut down.

"We’re very disappointed by this," Judd says. "Of course once we receive the findings we will do what is necessary to rectify those findings and reopen the program."

The program officially loses its accreditation at the end of June. At that time, five residents will graduate, but the remaining eight will need to transfer elsewhere.

"This is an impact to education - this does not impact in any way the services we provide," he says. "The clinical care to patients this does not impact at all."

It also doesn’t impact the hospital’s six other residency programs.

But it could shrink the pipeline of surgeons into the Valley. Research has shown doctors are more likely to practice where they finish their residencies than where they went to medical school.

Other hospitals in the Valley have the capacity to train about 60 surgery residents.

Judd hopes to have Kern Medical’s program back up and running by July 2019.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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