The Baltimore VA Medical Center is a modern 324 bed facility, opened adjacent to University Hospital. Both hospitals are conveniently connected by a walkway which facilitates integration of educational, research and clinical activities. For more information, see the VA Maryland Health Care System.
With its fully digitized radiology department, the VA was the first filmless medical center in the world. It also features the VA's Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), which gives residents ready access to clinical data, discharge summaries and laboratory results on computer monitors. Now that the VA is a fully paper-less hospital with all admission notes, progress notes and orders entered electronically, residents can easily retrieve and enter information for their patients.
The Baltimore facility is one of only a few VA Medical Centers in the country with two large federally funded programs in geriatrics -- Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center (GRECC) and a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. It is currently ranked in the top four among the VA Medical Centers in VA-funded research.
The general medical services are organized in a team call system. Each of the 4 general medical teams (Green, Yellow, Purple and Orange Teams) consists of 1 resident, 2 interns, 1 subintern and 2 medical students, and are capped at a team census of 20. There are 2 critical care teams: the CCU/telemtery unit (Blue Team) and the MICU service (Pink Team), each staffed with 2 residents and 2 interns. Call in the CCU and MICU is every 4th day on all these teams with interns staying until 9 PM and upper level residents staying overnight. On the general medicine teams, call is also every 4th night until 9 PM with no one staying overnight. A full Night Team system allows the on-call general medicine teams and the on-call interns in the MICU or CCU to take their last admission at 6 PM and leave the hospital after signing-out their service at 9 PM. The Day Float and Night Teams ensure that residents work less than 80 hours/week on average and have 8-10 hours off between duty shifts. Interns get experience in the CCU and MICU at night when on the the night float team. The upper level resident of each service directs the daily clinical activities and plays a key role in teaching first year residents and students. Attending rounds conducted seven days each week.
The VA Medical Center ECS is a Level II emergency center where residents care for patients with both subacute and acute illnesses. An upper level resident serves as the Medical Officer of the Day (MOD) and is responsible for triage and evaluation of all patients admitted to the medical services. Interns rotate through the urgent care section of ECS, allowing them to expand their skills in ambulatory medicine. Residents are supervised by faculty members from the Department of Emergency Medicine.