Academic medical centers provide the widest range of specialty care treatments, including the latest technological advances, clinical trials, and surgical techniques. In general, an academic medical center is a better choice than a community hospital for complicated treatments or rare diseases. Pediatric intensive care, especially, is usually performed at academic medical centers.
What are the types of specialists found at academic medical centers?
Academic medical centers offer a broad range of specialized services, from allergists to urologists. Some of the larger medical centers have entire hospitals or clinics focused on a particular medical service, such as cancer treatment, though specialties vary among the centers. Patients whose community hospital or local doctors do not have the facilities or expertise to address complex medical conditions can be referred by their primary care physician or local specialist to a major medical center (there are more than a dozen in the United States).
Do medical centers offer outpatient services?
Yes. In addition to their inpatient hospital services, medical centers can offer a wide variety of outpatient services, such as pain clinics, rehabilitation centers, surgery, imaging and laboratory, mental health treatment, and outpatient cancer treatment. Medical groups – doctors in private practice but affiliated with the medical center--will also have offices within the medical center.
What types of medical professionals usually staff a medical center?
Physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, residents, and attending physicians makeup the clinical staff of an academic medical center.
Do medical centers need accreditation?
Medical center accreditation is not required, but most centers work voluntarily toward accreditation because it represents higher standards of healthcare quality and patient safety.