As COVID-19 began rocking the planet, Jonathan Loteck’s world was being shaken by news unrelated to the novel coronavirus. Jonathan was diagnosed with cancer, and then a second serious medical condition. The 27-year-old metal fabricator from Millville would need two surgeries and chemotherapy to eradicate the cancer. And as his treatments were wrapping up in June, a new medical concern was discovered — an abdominal hernia had formed between his rib cage and belly button.Read More
This summer there is something exciting happening in South Jersey that will be good for the health of patients, families, employees and surrounding communities. In July, Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill will welcome the first class of medical school graduates who will begin their training in Inspira’s new Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Emergency Medicine residencies, and Transitional (1-year, multispecialty) internship.
The three-year training programs will bring twelve internal medicine residents, six family medicine residents and six Emergency Medicine residents to the Mullica Hill medical center each year. The Transitional program will welcome 12 residents. The programs had more than 2,000 applicants for those initial 36 positions, allowing both the new graduates and Inspira to match up with residents who were an ideal fit.
“The care that patients receive at Inspira Mullica Hill is already state-of-the-art,” said Michael Geria, D.O., vice president of Academic Affairs and director of the residency program. “Having residents in-house and around the clock, armed with the latest education that medical schools around the country can offer, will only enhance that care.”
Geria started the residency program not long after he joined Inspira in 2009. The new residencies were approved in mid-2020 and Inspira began taking applications shortly thereafter. Inspira already has internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine and transitional year programs in Vineland. With the addition of these new programs, Inspira will have more than 200 residents and fellows, in nine different specialties, caring for patients throughout its facilities. Within a few years, that number will grow to more than 250. That makes Inspira Health one of New Jersey’s largest programs for doctors-in-training.
The training program is affiliated with nearby Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Meagan Vermeulen, M.D., is director of the Family Medicine Residency, Jennifer LeComte, D.O., is director of the Internal Medicine Residency and James Bailey, D.O., is the Program director for the Transitional Year program. All three are assistant professors at the medical school. James Baird, D.O., from Team Health, heads the Emergency Medicine program. Geria said that additional residency programs are being developed or are going through the approval process now.
The residency program at Inspira currently covers the following medical specialties:
- Family medicine
- Internal medicine
- Emergency medicine
- Transitional (1-year, multispecialty internship)
- General Surgery
- Orthopedic surgery
- Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
- Foot and ankle surgery (Podiatry)
- Critical Care (Fellowship program)
Residents will use the latest medical technology, working alongside and being taught by experienced doctors from around the world. There is, however, another equally important part of their training at Inspira, Geria said, especially since they will begin their careers in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We put a strong emphasis on communication skills, what we used to refer to as ‘bedside manner,’ so that Inspira-trained doctors know how to talk with patients and families, face to face or via phone or video, so that everyone involved understands their plan of care and can actively participate in their own or their loved one’s recovery. We put an emphasis on keeping doctors that we train right here in South Jersey. But whether they stay with Inspira after residency or go to hospitals or practices anywhere in the country, we want them to always remember that they are treating people – people of many different cultures and backgrounds, who all need to feel comfortable with the care they’re receiving.”