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Oakland County wants to keep residency program

Pontiac, Michigan. The Pontiac Commercial Historic District.
Andrew Jameson
wikimedia/GNU Free Documentation License

Doctors' Hospital in Pontiac has filed for bankruptcy protection a second time.

Now, Oakland County officials fear losing a crucial residency training program that is based at the hospital.

Debra Brinson is CEO of Oakland Integrated Network, which serves many Medicaid, Medicare and low-income patients in Pontiac. 

She says the 16 residents from the family medicine residency program could prove difficult or impossible to replace.

"If they were no longer here, you have more than more than 10,000 patients that would have to look for a medical home someplace else," says Brinson. "And it's difficult to find physicians to come in and serve as primary care doctors in underserved areas."

Brinson says the county wants to stop the residency slots from being picked up piecemeal by other hospitals in Michigan. 

She says the program needs to stay intact, and it needs to stay in Oakland County, even if that means another hospital agreeing to train the residents.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.