TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii -- The Department of Psychiatry, here, received notification that its residency-training program received a five-year reaccreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's Residency Review Committee, April 24.

Tripler's General Psychiatry residency training program is only one of two Army Psychiatry GME residency programs and produces 40 percent of all Army psychiatrists.

"This accreditation is important because it means our residency program has the highest standard a program can receive," said Lt. Col. Stephen Morris, the residency program's training director. "It's an external validation of the good work that's being done here, of the curriculum, the faculty, residents and the program overall."

In addition to the reaccreditation, Tripler's residency program was also granted a cohort increase from 28 total trainees to 32.

"Only one other psychiatry residency training program, military or civilian, in the entire country received an increase in total trainees," explained Col. C.J. Diebold, chief, Department of Psychiatry. "(This) will enable us to train more Army psychiatrists."

This increase in cohorts and the ability to train additional Army psychiatrists is important because psychiatry continues to be at least 25 percent under strength Army wide according to Morris.

"After a decade-long war, behavioral health needs have really become the forefront of the Army," Morris said. "As the needs have grown, our need for excellent psychiatrists has grown. It's been hard to keep up with the demand.

"The ACMGE looked at our request to grow the program, and they approved it," Morris continued. "Allowing more residents into the program will allow to better meet the need (for more psychiatrists.)"

The ACMGE is a private professional organization that ensures the quality of approximately 8,400 accredited residency and fellowship programs in 121 specialty and subspecialty areas of medicine.

"It's that external validation, that a national accreditation body has given us their highest seal of approval," Morris said. "This really is a reflection of excellence throughout the hospital, from the residents to the staff, to the leadership and support staff. When (the ACGME) looks at the program, they look at everything. This accreditation is a huge accomplishment for us all."

Page last updated Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 00:00