Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Zahraa Ibrahem, MD, MBA, receives her white coat from Merle Carter, MD, Assistant Vice President of Graduate Medical Education
Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Laura Driessen, MD, receives her white coat from Randy Litman, DO, Program Director of the Family Medicine residency program
Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
Amrina Cheema, MD, receives her white coat from Merle Carter, MD, Assistant Vice President of Graduate Medical Education
Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

Einstein Montgomery Welcomes Its First Class of Residents

By on 08/21/2019

A long-awaited goal has been achieved with the launch of the first residency programs at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery – a Family Medicine residency and a Vascular Surgery residency.

The programs began with a traditional White Coat Ceremony on July 1 in which each resident was given a full-length doctor’s white coat and a stethoscope engraved with their name.

Residents are doctors who have completed medical school and earned an MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree. The residency program provides in-depth training in their chosen specialty.

Establishing residency programs is in keeping with Einstein Healthcare Network’s commitment to medical education. Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia has 30 residency programs and is the largest independent academic medical center in the Philadelphia region.   

“Our residency programs will provide the highest level of training and education which includes teaching our young doctors how to be caring and compassionate clinicians,” says Angie Nicholas, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

“For many years there was a Family Medicine residency program at Montgomery Hospital in Norristown,” she says. “After Montgomery Hospital closed and became part of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, it was always the plan to start residency programs here, so it’s gratifying to see it come to fruition.”

“Our hope is that when the residents complete their training, they will stay and put down roots here and serve the communities of Montgomery County,” says Beth Duffy, President and Chief Operating Officer for Einstein Montgomery. “Transforming Einstein Montgomery into a teaching hospital was a major endeavor which was made possible through the hard work, support and commitment of academic affairs, our faculty, our nurses and staff, and our Board.” 

Family Medicine Residency Program

Einstein’s Family Medicine Residency is a three-year program with six residents and Randy Litman, DO, serving as Program Director.  Family Medicine is comprehensive healthcare for the individual and family across all ages, genders, diseases, and parts of the body. It emphasizes disease prevention and health promotion. 

Each resident will be responsible for primary care for a group of patients, with oversight and supervision by an experienced Einstein physician (also called an attending). Dr. Litman and attendings are a “safety net” that allows the residents to learn and practice as their skills grow.

“Our hope is that when the residents complete their training, they will stay and put down roots here and serve the communities of Montgomery County.”

– Beth Duffy
President and Chief Operating Officer

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

The curriculum includes learning how to listen and communicate with compassion and empathy when interacting with patients and family members.

Family Medicine residents cross-train with multi-specialty physicians at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery as well as at several Einstein outpatient facilities. The cross-training includes rotations through cardiology, pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, dermatology, allergy/immunology, general internal medicine, wound care, general surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, radiology, obstetrics/gynecology, and other medical specialties.

Through exposure to a broad range of medical specialties, residents gain experience with a wide array of patients and medical conditions which builds a solid foundation to treat long-term (chronic) conditions such as diabetes or arthritis as well as sudden, short-term (acute) problems such as sinus infections or injuries.

As envisioned in the program manual, the Family Medicine Residency will be a trusted community partner, a place where patients feel safe, and a Center of Excellence for the delivery of full-spectrum primary care, helping the patient population in Norristown Borough, Montgomery County, achieve optimum health.

‘The positive patient feedback we’ve received confirms that our residents are off to a good start,” says Dr. Litman.

The inaugural group of Family Medicine residents are the class of 2022. They will graduate on the 10th anniversary of the opening of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, making it even more of a special occasion.

Vascular Surgery Residency Program

Vascular surgeons are highly-trained specialists who treat diseases of the blood vessels.  They manage arteries and veins throughout the body except in the brain and in the heart. Conditions they treat include problems that can be life- or limb-threatening such as aortic aneurysms, carotid artery blockages, and artery blockages in the legs.

The Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency Program at Einstein Montgomery is a five-year program with Evan Deutsch, MD, serving as Program Director. Traditionally, medical students who wanted to pursue a career in vascular surgery had to first complete a five-year residency in general surgery and then a two-year fellowship in the subspecialty of vascular surgery.

Over the past decade, an additional accredited training pathway has emerged that combines the five-year residency and two-year fellowship into a single five-year integrated vascular surgery training program. The Einstein Montgomery program follows this new model and is approved for one resident for each post-graduate year. Therefore, there is one resident in year one, one resident in year two, and one resident in year three.   

Currently, across the country, there are only 66 positions offered in this training pathway each year.  The three residents in the program will train and see patients at all of the facilities within Einstein Healthcare Network. 

“The new Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency Program is a major achievement for Einstein Healthcare Network,” says Dr. Deutsch. “There are only a select number of these programs across the country and Einstein has now joined this elite group of training programs.  Our entire division is excited to know that we will be playing an integral part in shaping the future of our specialty and training the next generation of vascular surgeons.”

The residents are trained by five Einstein board-certified vascular surgeons. They are taught how to perform the entire spectrum of vascular surgery procedures including the latest technological advances in the field.  They also learn how to diagnose and evaluate patients in order to decide when it is appropriate to operate, as well as how to manage their care after surgery.

The weekly schedule for residents includes lectures and conferences in addition to patient care responsibilities. Moreover, residents are required to participate in research projects to help the continued advancement of the field in vascular surgery.  

“I began my surgical residency at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and quickly developed a passion for vascular surgery,” says third-year resident Amrina Cheema, MD. “I am really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural class of the Vascular Surgery residency and am confident that the next three years will continue to provide a fulfilling educational and operative experience.” 

Facilities Ready for Future Expansion

When they are not caring for patients, residents spend time in the newly-renovated Einstein Medical Center Montgomery Residency space made up of classrooms, offices, on-call rooms, sleep areas and a kitchen. The conference rooms offer advanced technology including 360- degree webcams that allow teleconferencing between Einstein campuses as well as locations outside the Einstein network. The residents brand new “home” was funded in part by The Friends of Einstein Healthcare Network’s 66th annual Harvest Ball.   

Looking ahead, plans are underway to add an Internal Medicine residency program and a Radiology residency program at Einstein Montgomery in July 2020, followed in the next few years by programs in Emergency Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a Hospice and Palliative Care fellowship program. Several other programs are also under consideration.  

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.