UH Loses Thoracic Surgery Credentials

CLEVELAND (AP) - University Hospitals has lost its credentials to train medical residents in chest surgery.

The hospital was one of three in Ohio and 91 nationwide certified to train doctors in surgery that includes operations on the heart and lungs.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education revoked the accreditation in July and notified the hospital in a Sept. 16 letter.

"As of January the program is closed down," said Doris Stoll, executive director of the council's Thoracic Surgery Resident Review Committee. "They did not meet the standards."

Dr. Robert Daroff, the hospital chief of staff, said the accreditation withdrawal concerns the education of doctors, not the quality of patient care in cardiothoracic surgery. Daroff said the hospital will challenge the review committee's decision.

"We're going to appeal because we think it was a totally unjustified action," Daroff said.

Losing accreditation is yet another setback to the hospital's cardiothoracic surgery division.

Earlier this year, the hospital suspended its heart transplant program because of poor results, then restarted it.

The accreditation council's decision followed a routine site visit in February. The council won't disclose specifics of the shortcomings in UH's program.

Daroff said that inadequate teaching, excessive work hours for the residents and the turmoil in the program were cited.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)