When Manuel Gonzalez-Brito, DO, came on board last year as the director of medical education for Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida, he was tasked with securing accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education for the hospital and its six osteopathic residency and fellowship programs.
Quickly getting ACGME accreditation for these programs was critically important because the Miami-area hospital, which serves a predominantly Hispanic population and many underserved patients, is a pipeline for training that provides the community with much-needed cardiologists, neurologists and internists.
The hospital—and Dr. Brito—were intent on keeping that pipeline running uninterrupted. Seeking efficiency, Dr. Brito reached out to the AOA’s Single Accreditation System Application Assistance Program, a decision he credits with saving him countless hours of time and effort.
“I can’t tell you how helpful it was to work with an expert who had already reviewed many applications,” he says. “Dr. Arthur Sesso, who I was partnered with, really helped me cut my work and time to the minimum that it had to be.”
In April, Palmetto General Hospital secured initial ACGME accreditation for its internal medicine residency program, which employs nearly 60 residents. Dr. Brito has also submitted applications for the hospital’s family medicine residency program and critical care, cardiology, and infectious diseases fellowships, and anticipates receiving initial accreditation for those programs in October.
How the AOA’s Application Assistance Program helped
Dr. Brito’s application consultant, Arthur Sesso, DO, a surgeon and program director at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, brought an excess of real-world experience to the application assistance program. After completing the ACGME accreditation process for his own institution and residency program, Dr. Sesso also assisted other program directors with their applications before working with Dr. Brito.
“Other directors may ask a colleague for assistance,” Dr. Brito says. “That can be less useful if the person is helping you in their spare time and hasn’t reviewed many applications. It can make the process inefficient and more disjointed than it has to be.”
Dr. Sesso advised Dr. Brito on specific application challenges such as how to create faculty CVs and establish a system for documenting resident progress.
“I had conversations with Dr. Sesso on how we would organize our portfolios of each trainee with respect to metrics in a way that would work for ACGME,” Dr. Brito says. “As opposed to just filing resident procedure logs, we discussed filing them according to metrics, so that with each metric there would be a procedure log and an evaluation form. That’s one example of a real-world change we made just from talking to Dr. Sesso.”
At other times, Dr. Sesso simply provided insight on how to best answer certain questions on the application.
“I would share the answer we came up with to a question, and Dr. Sesso might tell us how we could tweak it to better illustrate the point we were trying to make,” Dr. Brito says.
While Dr. Brito could have secured accreditation for his programs without the AOA’s help, he says working with Dr. Sesso helped him avoid unnecessary trial and error.
“When you work with the AOA’s Application Assistance Program, it’s one of the few times you get to learn the easy way rather than the hard way,” he notes.
Interested in using the Application Assistance Program? Learn more about it here.