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BMC Achieves New Surgical Residency Accreditation
February 14, 2017

For Immediate Release

Berkshire Medical Center Approved for Surgical Residency Program by National Accrediting Body: General Surgery Residency Program Reinstated

PITTSFIELD, MA – After a year and a half of intensive preparation and development, the highly successful American Osteopathic Association (AOA) General Surgery Residency Program at Berkshire Medical Center has been approved for a Residency in General Surgery by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) under the auspices of the new Single Accreditation System (SAS). This decision has been retroactive as of July 1, 2016, following the approval of the Residency Review Committee Meeting in Surgery on January 19, 2017.

The Surgical Residency, which will have its full complement of 10 surgical residents as of July 1, 2017, has enjoyed an ever-growing success as BMC’s AOA Residency since it opened in July 2013 and continued after the ACGME denied reaccreditation to BMC’s other formerly longstanding General Surgery Residency Program, which closed in 2014. Since that time, the two major accrediting bodies for residency programs in the US, the ACGME and AOA, have begun merging, and will now collectively oversee a single graduate medical education system for residencies in the US. Under this new system all programs solely accredited by the AOA who have not yet begun the arduous process of applying to the ACGME under the SAS will no longer be allowed to accept incoming residents who will have an anticipated graduation date after June 30, 2020.

It was imperative that the BMC surgical residency begin the application process promptly after the start of the merge in July of 2015 due to being a five-year residency program, so as to not interfere with the ability to continue accepting new residents each academic year. As a result, this was the ninth AOA General Surgery Program in the country to submit an application and among only the third group of programs to have achieved full initial accreditation, of which only nine programs have accomplished to date.

BMC’s AOA General Surgery Residency, opened in July 2013 with just two surgical residents initially, and had approval for up to five positions total. Since then, it has grown and evolved steadily, with the approval of five additional positions by the AOA in January of 2015 following an exceptionally successful reaccreditation inspection in November of 2014, and currently has nine residents.

According to Michael R. DiSiena, DO, FACS, Program Director of BMC’s Surgical Residency Program, “The steadfast work of our AOA surgical residents over the past two and a half years, along with a deep commitment by our medical staff, Medical Education Department and senior leadership of Berkshire Health Systems and Berkshire Medical Center, has resulted in this newly accredited program. The addition of Advanced Practice Professionals, including our surgical Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners and dedicated Surgicalists has strengthened our program and we are now ready to launch the full complement of ten residents for the surgical residency this summer.”

The application was submitted to the ACGME in October of 2015. Following the submission, the accrediting organization conducted a standard on-site visit in late 2015, during which BMC achieved a high efficiency rating from ACGME and a status of continued pre-accreditation at the ACGME’s Residency Review Committee Meeting in March of 2016.

“Berkshire Medical Center has met all of the standards established by the ACGME,” said Diane Kelly, DNP, MBA, RN, Chief Operating Officer of BMC. “This remarkable accomplishment is attributed to the strong leadership provided by Dr. DiSiena and the high quality of care provided by our AOA surgical residents, our Surgicalists and our Advanced Practice Professionals. BMC has a long-standing tradition of excellence in our residency programs, and we are proud of this on-going effort to restore the full surgical residency for our patients and our community.”

On February 26, 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) announced their agreement, outlining a more standardized and streamlined approach to graduate medical education accreditation in the United States. This Single Accreditation System will afford greater opportunities for graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, who will all be able to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common and consistent educational Milestones and competencies.

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