October 27, 2023

ACEP Urges CHRISTUS Spohn To Consider Multiple Workforce Factors in its Residency Closure Decision

After CHRISTUS Spohn Health System announced plans to close its Emergency Medicine residency in Corpus Christi, Texas, ACEP sent a letter to hospital administrators outlining the fluid complexities of the emergency medicine workforce.

Specifically, ACEP President, Aisha Terry, MD, MPH, FACEP, pointed out that the multi-organizational EM Workforce Study published in 2021 that predicted a likely physician oversupply in 10 years was based on modeled assumptions that are not static and

  • Were based on data, including retention data, from a pre-COVID-19 world.
  • Do not reflect inconsistent and changing employment marketplaces across states.
  • Did not specifically model, but recognized that, geographic maldistribution currently exists and is likely to be amplified in the future.

The letter states, in part:

“Emergency medicine residency training programs provide lasting benefits to an institution and the community it serves that are not captured on simple financial analysis. There are numerous studies describing how EM residencies drive improvements in the quality of care, care coordination, addressing social determinants of health, and preparation and response to disasters and large-scale events. It takes 10,000 hours to become an emergency physician.

In a crisis, there is no substitute for a licensed, residency-trained, board-certified emergency physician.

We strongly urge Corpus Christi stakeholders to consider all factors, not a single workforce projection report, when making decisions that impact your physicians and your community.”

Read the full letter from ACEP to the CHRISTUS Spohn administrators.

ACEP will continue to support its members through this disruptive, unexpected announced closure. You fight for your patients. We’ll fight for you.


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