Residency

Tip of the week: Remove resident probation status? A letter is better.

Residency Program Insider, May 1, 2012

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When a resident leaves a program where he or she was put on probation for some length of time, it is common to receive a request to remove that status from his or her file. The GME office will also receive correspondence from licensing and credentialing organizations looking for probation-related information on a resident.

Instead of removing the “probation” status label from the resident’s file, the GME office should consider drafting a letter to summarize the circumstances. Make it standard procedure to write a summary letter to detail what happened. This is especially handy if the program director at the time is no longer at the institution. It is also helpful in place of developing a response to licensure boards, credentialing organizations, or hospitals solely based on studying the resident file.

Consult with your legal counsel to draft the letter and have the program director share the letter with the resident during the exit summary evaluation. There is no need to report specific details of the resident’s problems, but make sure to stick to the facts of the issue.

The resident may take issue with the letter, but drafting this policy can help an organization better explain the “why” in a brief, yet clear message.

This week’s tip is from The Graduate Medical Education Committee Handbook by Vicki Hamm and Christine Redovan, MBA.

 



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