Medical Residents at

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Residencies

As a resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, you're a member of a world-class graduate medical program. A teaching hospital of the prestigious Harvard Medical School, BIDMC holds every resident to highly exacting standards to ensure they're well prepared for a long and successful medical career.

Being part of such an illustrious healthcare system does, however, bring its own challenges. Medical residents face potentially serious sanctions if they don't progress clinically at the expected rate or if they're accused of ethical misconduct. In the most grievous cases, you could lose your shot at completing the residency program.

If you're facing medical residency issues at BIDMC, the Lento Law Firm can help. These matters are too complex and stressful to face alone – call 888.535.3686 to arrange a meeting with experienced attorney-advisor Joseph Lento.

Graduate and Resident Policies at BIDMC

BIDMC has clear policies for residents to follow. Helpfully, the policies can be found within the GME Trainee Policy Manual. Some of the most important policies for residents are:

  • GME 01: Duty Hours
  • GME 03: Policy on Evaluation and Promotion
  • GME 04: Extension of Training
  • GME 05: Policy and Procedure for Trainee Grievances
  • GME 10: Remediation and Discipline
  • GME 11: Residency Closure/Reduction
  • GME 12: Trainee Contracts
  • GME 19: USMLE Completion Requirement

For example, GME 04, “Extension of Training”, explains how residents may be expected to extend their training due to a high number of absences or lack of training experience. And GME 11, “Residency Closure/Reduction”, sets out BIDMC's responsibilities if it's forced to close a program or reduce the number of residents on a certain program.

More generally, residents are expected to follow any obligations set out in the Trainee Agreement. This contract explains what's required of residents and what might happen if they don't meet the standards expected by BIDMC. It also confirms your position, level of training, and stipend.

As a leading medical center, BIDMC holds residents to high standards. You should familiarize yourself with these policies to ensure you understand what is expected of you.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Policy Violations

Policy violations at BIDMC come in many forms. The Trainee Agreement outlines various responsibilities you have, including the following.

  • You must participate in education activities arranged by BIDMC to support your learning.
  • As you progress, you must take some responsibility for supervising other residents with less experience.
  • You must provide safe patient care at the level expected of a resident at your stage of training.

Training contracts are not automatically renewed each year, meaning there's no guarantee you will progress to the next level of training. For example, residents may be sanctioned for a failure to meet clinical requirements, incidents regarding patient safety, or unprofessional behavior. If BIDMC has concerns about your conduct or clinical performance, they may take the following actions.

  • Issue a counseling letter describing an incident of concern and proposing how it can be remedied.
  • Send you a Notice of Concern outlining alleged problematic behavior or failures to make timely progress.
  • Place you on probation, meaning your activities are modified until performance problems are addressed.
  • Suspend you for a short period if BIDMC has more serious concerns.
  • Request that you repeat a year to correct performance issues or ensure you have enough experience to move forward.
  • Refuse to give you a certificate acknowledging your completion of the program.

In the most serious cases, BIDMC can terminate your residency. Termination is typically reserved for repeated violations or very serious patient safety concerns.

In all cases, however, a sanction can jeopardize your ability to complete your training. It can also damage your professional reputation at a tentative stage in your career. The consequences can, therefore, be significant, so you should take swift action to mitigate any long-term impact.

Grievance Process at BIDMC

If there's an issue that could hinder your ability to complete your residency, you have the right to initiate the BIDMC's grievance procedures.

The correct procedure for disputing disciplinary action can be found in section GME-10 of the Trainee Manual. You can appeal the following sanctions:

  • denial of a residency completion certificate
  • dismissal
  • non-promotion
  • probation
  • suspension

You have ten days from notice of the action to send your Program Director a written statement explaining why the sanction is unjustified. Within ten days of receiving this statement, the Program Director convenes a department committee to review your appeal. It's crucial you attend this committee meeting. Otherwise, your appeal will be dismissed.

Formal Hearing

If you're dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal, you can request a more formal hearing before the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) Executive Council. This hearing is your opportunity to present further evidence in support of your case. You can, for example, call witnesses and, most importantly, instruct counsel to represent you.

The GMEC will make a recommendation to your Department Chief, and their decision is final. Given what's at stake at this hearing, it's crucial you exercise your rights to due process and hire counsel to repr