January President's Message
“How did things ever get so far?”
Don Corleone asks this of the assembled heads of the Five Families after the mafia war in The Godfather. By now, I think that most have heard of the events of the group change at Summa Akron City that occurred on January 1st. Much has been written elsewhere, and it’s unlikely all the details will ever be known. Last weekend’s article in the Akron Beacon Journal interviewed both the hospital and former group for their sides of the story.
In the following days, I reached out to members of the former and new group at Summa. I spoke with many involved, both to offer what support I could and just to listen. At the end of last week we held a Board of Directors meeting to discuss the transition and issued this statement to fellow Chapter members.
However, the only thing about which we can all agree is that the thirty Emergency Medicine residents at Summa were truly caught in the middle between the hospital and two groups. I spoke with several residents last week and tried to answer what questions I could and to assure them that they had not been forgotten. Residency is hard enough on the best of days, and we all recall how hard it could be on the worst days. However, in my conversations with the residents, I am truly amazed at their resiliency and dedication to persevere throughout all of this. And for that, we should all commend the EM residents at Summa and continue to support them however we can. A new program director and core faculty have been named. The Summa residency has not closed and the faculty and staff of the program are doing all they can for the residency and the residents. In this interview with EMRA, interim program director Dr. Scott Felton lays out his vision for the Summa residency going forward.
Those that know me well would tell you I’m a realist, maybe even a cynic. And most days, that’s probably true. However, those that know me best would actually say I’m an idealist, at times even Quixotian. Contracts and groups will change in EM. I know that. I’ve been through several. However, I personally feel that such an abrupt transition can never happen again at a site that involves a residency program. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, but I’m working on it.
So since it is actually a New Year, here’s hoping it gets better. As Andy DuFresne observed in Shawshank Redemption:
“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Michael J. McCrea, MD, FACEP
President, Ohio ACEP