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Kern Medical loses accreditation for general surgery residency program

FILE -- Kern Medical is seen Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Kern Medical will temporarily shut down its general surgery residency program after losing accreditation.

CEO Russell Judd said they were notified last week that the accreditation would be withdrawn, but they have yet to receive the full report of items that need to be fixed.

“Based upon the accreditation, we’ve decided that we’ll need to temporarily stop the training of general surgery residents and fix the items that they found for opportunities for improvement, and then begin the process of reopening the general surgery program," Judd told Eyewitness News over the phone Wednesday.

Kern Medical has five other residency programs: internal medicine, emergency medicine, OB-GYN, psychiatry and clinical pharmacy. All programs are regularly reviewed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and this finding has no impact on any of the other residency programs.

This accreditation ruling also has no effect on the hospital's services to the public, Judd said.

“This doesn’t impact the services we can provide, it doesn't impact the trauma services or any surgeries that we’ll do. Residents are here to … receive education. And, so, we will not be able to educate residents,” he said.

The ACGME review of the general surgery residency program took place in February. The program at Kern Medical currently has 13 resident surgeons. Five of them are completing their training with Kern Medical, as the program will continue until the current academic year is done in June. Eight others will need to transfer.

“Absolutely we’re disappointed," the CEO said, vowing to do all in their power to fix the problems found by ACGME and reopen the general surgery residency program that's been around for 40 years.

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