A national accrediting organization is withdrawing the accreditation of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s Neurological Surgery Residency, a seven-year program focused on brain and spine conditions.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education put the program on probation for the 2018-19 year. Effective June 20, 2020, the program’s accreditation will be revoked, according to a report on the council’s website.
Most residency programs, which physicians undergo after graduation from medical school, last three to seven years and provide supervision in a specialty. After graduating from a residency, a physician is able to take board exams to practice independently.
In New Mexico, physicians must graduate from accredited programs to practice a medical specialty.
The accreditation council could not be reached for comment on the action, which would prevent students in the UNM program from receiving federal education funding.
Health Sciences Center spokesman Mark Rudi said the loss of accreditation will not interrupt neurosurgery services at UNM Hospitals.
“UNM Hospitals has implemented an incident command model with identified working groups to keep services running as smoothly,” Rudi wrote in a statement. “We continue to work with ACGME on the identified areas in seeking accreditation of this residency program as soon as possible.”
However, Rudi said, eight current neurological surgery residents will be affected, along with those hoping to enter the program in the near future.
“The withdrawal of accreditation means we will not be training additional residents in neurosurgery for the time being,” he said.