What is a teaching hospital?
In the United States, our healthcare system relies on "teaching hospitals" — more commonly known as
"academic medical centers" — for the clinical education of medical students and
physicians. Academic medical centers like Erlanger are essential classrooms for
training physicians and other healthcare professionals.
An approved teaching
hospital since 1915, Erlanger became affiliated with the University of Tennessee
College of Medicine in 1974. Today, Erlanger serves as the main campus for the
University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga (UTCOMC), one of three
campuses across the state that are affiliated with the University of Tennessee
Health Science Center in Memphis.
Benefits to you and the community
What are the benefits of having access to an
academic medical center in Chattanooga?
patients and their families have discovered that medical care offered by
Erlanger and UTCOMC offers several distinct benefits.
First, the academic
environment at Erlanger and UTCOMC encourages physicians to seek solutions for
patients' problems through medical research. Practicing physicians on the
faculty of the College of Medicine stay on top of the latest medical
developments. UTCOMC's involvement in research programs provides you with
opportunities to participate in groundbreaking treatments that are not available
at other area hospitals.
Most importantly, studies
show that patients at academic medical centers have better outcomes. Academic
medical centers like Erlanger and UTCOMC encourage active collaboration among
residents, practicing physicians, and specialists. Consultations on difficult
medical problems can lead to earlier diagnoses and treatment methods. The
teaching atmosphere also attracts specialists to our community, allowing
Erlanger to offer services not provided by other facilities, such as a
children's hospital and trauma care.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), though
comprising only six percent of all hospitals, AAMC members operate:
- 40 percent of neonatal ICUs
- 62 percent of pediatric ICUs
- 61 percent of all Level 1 regional trauma centers
- 75 percent of all burn care units
These institutions also provide nearly half of all hospital charity care
nationwide and a disproportionate share of care to patients who are severely ill
or have rare conditions, including:
- 50 percent of the surgical transplant services
- 41 percent of Alzheimer's centers
- 22 percent of all cardiac surgeries*
Together, Erlanger and the UTCOMC offer a "safety
net" for the region, providing essential medical care to the uninsured and
underinsured while serving as the backbone and heart of our region's healthcare