DOWNEY -- Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisor Janice Hahn to establish the first-ever residency program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey.
The residency program will be run through Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and is expected to help Rancho better retain full-time County physicians and rely less on contracted physicians.
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is the only rehabilitation hospital in LA County’s Department of Health Services. It is recognized as an international leader in rehabilitative medicine to treat individuals with life-changing illness, injury, or disability.
Hospitals across LA County have used strong residency programs to build up a reliable and consistent County physician workforce. Rancho Los Amigos, however, has never had a residency program and has had to rely on contracted physicians.
In May, Supervisor Hahn proposed the creation of a residency program to help train more doctors in the field of rehabilitative medicine and reduce Rancho Los Amigos’ reliance on contracted doctors.
“This is an exciting day for Rancho Los Amigos and the bright, talented students at Charles Drew University,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This residency program will create a new pipeline for homegrown LA County physicians who will learn rehabilitative medicine from world renowned experts and help Rancho Los Amigos thrive.“
In addition to Rancho Los Amigos, the motion established an additional residency program through Drew at MLK Hospital. As a part of both agreements, the County of Los Angeles will provide Charles Drew University with $800,000 in funding needed to start the residency programs. The residency programs are set to begin in the summer of 2018 and will train new County doctors by 2021.
“Nationwide, we have a shortage of primary care clinicians, and the need is particularly acute in the communities surrounding Drew University,” Board Chairman Ridley-Thomas said. “I am hopeful that many of these trainees will opt to practice locally upon their graduation.”
Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, dean of the Drew School of Medicine, said the residency programs would be a win for both patients and postgraduate medical students. “We bring not only our expertise and talent, but our dedication to developing a culturally competent physician workforce,” she said.
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center CEO Jorge Orozco said, “This training program could, in the long term, serve as a pipeline for new attending physicians to join the medical staff at Rancho.”
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is an accredited Graduate Medical Education Sponsoring Institution. The Family Medicine residency is scheduled to begin in June with eight residents, and is expected to enroll 24 residents by 2020. The Psychiatry residency will also begin in June with four residents and is expected to enroll 16 residents by 2021.