NorthStar Anesthesia began managing DMC’s anesthesia services,
including its residency program, in July 2015.
E.J. Chidiac, M.D., director of the anesthesiology residency program at DMC and associate professor of anesthesiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, says at first he wasn’t sure if NorthStar would appreciate and prioritize the residency program. “I thought the focus would be on the bottom line and the satisfaction of the hospital administrators,” says Dr. Chidiac. “But they really listened to us about what we needed. NorthStar has enabled us to not just maintain but actually strengthen our academic mission.”
NorthStar’s more productive and efficient model of anesthesia care has led to several improvements in the residency program:
More resources for research and education
“It costs a lot of money to run a residency program,” says Dr. Chidiac. In addition to requiring more attending anesthesiologists to supervise residents, departments also need adequate funds for research- and education-related programs. “Before NorthStar, our budgets were not as big in terms of research and education,” Dr. Chidiac says.
Today, the department has more funding for:
- Rewarding physicians who publish
- Hiring research coordinators and other support staff
- Conference costs
- Guest speaker fees
Dr. Chidiac says his department is now also able to conduct more research and present its findings at more national meetings.
Enhanced recruitment efforts
The ability to recruit and retain quality anesthesiologists is crucial, and Dr. Chidiac says NorthStar has helped tremendously in this area. “You need to find people who are supportive of the academic mission of the department, and with NorthStar’s national reach, we’ve been able to recruit excellent educators from other academic medical centers around the country.” In addition, more residents are opting to stay at DMC after their training is completed or are choosing to return after completing fellowships elsewhere.
More nonclinical time for attending staff
Attending anesthesiologists need a lot of nonincome-producing time for things like doing research, giving lectures and attending conferences. “NorthStar has helped me not only maintain that time, but actually increase it,” says Dr. Chidiac.
NorthStar’s investments in technology and the company’s ability to share best practices by leveraging clinical leadership from across the country have led to several improvements in the way the DMC residency program is run. “For example, we completely revamped our didactics program based on NorthStar’s recommendations,” says Dr. Chidiac.
A stronger culture of teamwork among anesthesiologists and CRNAs
At NorthStar’s suggestion, DMC created a joint leadership team made up of anesthesiologists and CRNAs that meets every two weeks. The meetings, which are run by the two chief residents, are a chance for team members to bring up concerns or other issues, and ensure that training opportunities are being shared fairly among residents and student nurse anesthetists.