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Pediatric residency earns top accreditation

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The pediatric residency program at SUNY Upstate Medical University has been awarded five-year accreditation through 2013 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Also earning a five-year accreditation is the university's pediatric infectious disease fellowship program.

The five-year accreditation is the longest accreditation period offered by the ACGME. Only about 30 percent of programs reviewed receive such accreditation.

The accreditation comes after a rigorous review of how SUNY Upstate trains physicians for careers in pediatric medicine. The accreditation process requires institutions to complete and submit an extensive written report. An on-site review of the institution also is required.

"We passed with flying colors," said John Andrake, M.D., who directs SUNY Upstate's pediatrics residency program. "The five-year accreditation means we're succeeding at all levels and providing outstanding training for pediatricians."

Often, even when the ACGME provides a program with full accreditation, it makes recommendations for improvement. The pediatric residency program's accreditation announcement, however, included no such recommendations. "This is about as strong of an endorsement of a residency program as one can see," Andrake said.

According to Andrake, SUNY Upstate, with its specialty clinics and large geographic patient base, is able to provide pediatric residents with broad experience on a wide range of diagnoses. "The accreditation team wants to ensure that participants in a residency program are getting significant experience and seeing as many different conditions, as possible," he said.

Andrake said the excellence of pediatric residency program extends to the quality of patient care and expertise of faculty. "I think the success of the pediatric residency program does reflect what happens every day here in terms of patient care," he said. "We are an academic medical center with outstanding physicians as faculty."

The five-year accreditation comes about nine months prior to the opening of the Golisano Children's Hospital at Upstate, which is set for September 2009.

About 40 resident physicians are enrolled in the three-year pediatric residency program at SUNY Upstate.