Education at Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network takes pride in its long-standing commitment to the education of healthcare providers. WCHN spans a geographic area in western Connecticut from Norwalk, along the Long Island Sound, to Kent, in the rolling foothills of Litchfield County. Between Norwalk Hospital, Danbury Hospital and New Milford hospital there are over 740 in-patient beds.

The strong commitment to excellent care, the first-rate teaching and the notably diverse population that receives care in our facilities make WCHN a vibrant training site for students, residents and fellows. This dedication to education, coupled with an equally strong commitment to research, distinguishes WCHN as a community-based academic medical institution. The focus of these efforts is to improve the lives of the people living in the region.

WCHN provides clinical training to learners from a wide variety of disciplines. There are residencies and fellowships in Internal Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, Radiology, Pathology Dentistry, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. In addition, nursing students, PA students, PA residents, pharmacy students, podiatric and social work students complete clinical training at WCHN. For the purposes of these training programs, WCHN maintains strong educational partnerships with University of Vermont Larner School of Medicine, Yale University, Ross University, American University of the Caribbean, Sacred Heart University, UConn, Quinnipiac, and  Western Connecticut State University among others. There is a heart-felt conviction that when our professionals teach, it enhances the quality of our clinical services.

The Western Connecticut Health Network / University of Vermont Global Health Program sends students, trainees and seasoned practitioners from WCHN and UVM  to work, teach and learn in partner health facilities in Zimbabwe, Uganda, The Dominican Republic, Vietnam, and Russia. The program is designed to improve the delivery of healthcare, healthcare education and healthcare research in our partner locations. Physicians and educators from our partner sites visit WCHN to further their training and to participate in on-going Global Health-related research. The WCHN Global Health Program is an active member of Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Education in the clinical environment is complemented by hands-on experiential training at The Harold A. Spratt Center for Simulation and Clinical Learnings at Danbury Hospital. The libraries at both Danbury and Norwalk Hospitals are additional critical resources for all learners, as healthcare students and providers use evidence-based resources to drive their learning and their decision-making. The libraries provide support through their permanent holdings, their access to on-line resources and the engaged librarians who are active partners in our activities.

Our formal affiliation with University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine has resulted in WCHN being designated as the WCHN Branch Campus of UVM Medical College.  Our hospitals and clinics, at which students from UVM are already using as clinical sites, will become a complete Branch Campus in the spring of 2019. UVM Branch Campus students will live in the area while they complete their seven core clinical clerkships and their fourth year “Advanced Integration” course work. The Advance Integration experience includes both required and elective clinical and didactic course work.

In addition, WCHN has strong affiliations with Ross University School of Medicine and American University of the Caribbean.  Students from both of those medical schools spend their entire third year at the WCHN “track”. Of that group, several do fourth year electives at WCHN in preparation for their residency training. 

WCHN trains residents and fellows in a number of specialties. Our residency affiliations include UVM, Yale and NYMC. Below is a table of the residences and fellowships offered at WCHN:

Danbury Hospital

Norwalk Hospital

Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine

Surgery

Radiology

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Gastroenterology Fellowship

Pathology

Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship

Cardiology Fellowship

Sleep Fellowship

Dental Residency:  There is a one-year Residency in General Dentistry. Residents hone their general dentistry skills with clinical responsibilities at the Seifert and Ford community Health Center in Danbury and at Danbury Hospital.

In addition, Anesthesiology Residents from New York Medical College and the Yale University Podiatry Residency have regular rotations at WCHN.

WCHN is dedicated to providing clinical opportunities for trainees from a number of disciplines from local institutions. Students from various disciplines, including nursing, Physician Assistants, respiratory technology, social work, and pharmacology spend time at WCHN. Our partner institutions include: Yale University, Scared Heart University, UConn, Quinnipiac, and Norwalk Community College. For more information about these programs, please go to the website of the degree-conferring institution.