From the bridges above to the rivers below, Western Pennsylvania has plenty of qualities to attract people to live here. We can add more opportunities for medical doctors to that list.
Heritage Valley Health System has teamed up with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) to create housing and classroom space in Sewickley for PCOM medical students who choose to complete their third- and fourth-year core rotations here.
Norm Mitry, president and CEO at Heritage Valley, said the partnership provides an opportunity for Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital to host medical students and to potentially attract more medical doctors to the area.
“We believe this will encourage young physicians to remain in the region through their residencies and establish medical practices after graduation,” Mitry said.
The former Sewickley Valley School of Nursing building behind the Sewickley hospital is being converted to 10-bed living quarters with a classroom and resource center equipped with state-of-the-art technology and video capabilities. The facility is slated to be occupied by spring 2013.
To accommodate students, PCOM created core rotations that allow students to spend their first two years of education in Philadelphia and return to the region for their final two years of clinical training. With primary care physicians in demand, the thought is when students complete their medical school training, they'll want to return here.
Ken Veit, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean, said PCOM is based in Philadelphia, but the 113-year-old school is a "Pennsylvania school" with more than 50 percent of its medical students coming from the state, and alumni practicing in 64 of 67 state counties.
"Many students who come to PCOM from Western Pennsylvania want to return to the region for their clerkships and residencies with the goal of practicing medicine in the region,” Veit said.
Students using the facility are not limited to Heritage Valley for their clerkships, but can participate at UPMC, West Penn, and many other Pittsburgh-area sites, officials said.
Veit said Sewickley makes a great base of operations because there is equal distance to Heritage Valley Beaver hospital and downtown Pittsburgh.
For Sewickley, this will mean more people shopping, eating and working out in the local community.
"Is there a better place to do this than the Sewickley Village? There really isn’t," Mitry said.