Pathology, the oldest residency sponsored by the USD Sanford School of Medicine, celebrated its 60th anniversary at a special event held in Sioux Falls at the Imagenetics building on Oct. 24. In its six-decade existence, pathology has contributed 56 residency graduates, 12 of whom are now practicing medicine in South Dakota, and 10 of those physicians are graduates of USD’s school of medicine. There are currently seven residents in the pathology residency program. Four of the residents are South Dakota natives and three are graduates of the Sanford School of Medicine. Honored for their support at pathology’s diamond jubilee celebration were Sanford Health, which has provided primary financial, educational and clinical support for the pathology residency since its inception, and the Veterans Administration hospital in Sioux Falls, which provides important teaching experiences.
Most of the public’s understanding about the medical school relates to general medical education. During the 2018-2019 school year there are 268 medical students enrolled in the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine.
Less public awareness surrounds the medical school’s graduate education programs, including its eight residency and four fellowship programs. There are 140 individuals being trained under the medical school’s residencies and fellowships in eight different fields, including pathology, psychiatry, internal medicine, family medicine, surgery, geriatrics and cardiology. The benefits of these programs extend beyond the practitioners and medical community.
According to Nedd Brown, Ed.D., associate dean of graduate medical education, the location of a physicians’ residency can determine where a physician chooses to practice and reside. “The correlation between the location of residency and the location of practice is about 45 percent,” said Brown, adding that if a medical school graduate performs a residency in the same state where he/she graduated from medical school the chances are about 67 percent that the graduate will stay in that state to practice medicine. “That figure is higher for our graduates,” explained Brown, referencing USD Sanford School of Medicine grads and residencies. “About 77.5 percent of our grads who do residencies in South Dakota stay in South Dakota to practice medicine. That percentage rates as sixth best out of all 50 states in terms of retaining our graduates to serve South Dakotans.”
The big-picture significance and value of offering residencies and graduate medical training opportunities, said Brown, is abundantly evident.