Medical Community Relieved Residents Have A Place To Go After Memorial Hospital Closure

Nov 23, 2017

Care New England’s plan to relocate Brown University’s medical residency program to Kent Hospital in Warwick has some in the medical community breathing a sigh of relief.   

Rhode Island’s second-largest health system says it will work to keep Brown’s residency programs in Rhode Island after Memorial Hospital closes.

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That’s good news to Dr. Sarah Fessler, medical director at the East Bay Community Action Program.

“We were really worried in the primary care and family medicine community that memorial hospital was going to close and that could potentially mean that that residency goes away as well,” Fessler said.

Fessler came to Rhode Island from Ohio more than two decades ago to do her residency in Brown’s family medicine program at Memorial.

“One thing we know is that if people do their residency training in the state tend to stay in the state,” Fessler explained.

That’s backed up by data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The Washington-based nonprofit says about 30 percent of residents who completed their training in Rhode Island in 2016 stayed on to practice medicine here.

And with a shortage of family physicians, people in the medical community say, Rhode Island can’t afford to lose any more.