The longstanding relationship between the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University’s medical school appears to be ending.

Reports say the DMC is not renewing its contract with the Wayne State University Physician Group, which is the employer of doctors who teach and do research at the university while practicing at the DMC. Wayne State and the DMC have been partners for least a century, but they’ve been at odds in recent years over financial terms and other contract issues.

In a letter to faculty, Wayne State President Dr. M. Roy Wilson said the DMC’s owners told him they intend to dissolve the health system’s relationship with Wayne State, starting with the contract with the physician group. He and other Wayne State officials expressed surprise, saying the two sides had been working diligently on a new contract.

The current contract which expires May 15 covers about 300 doctors. Wayne State’s residency programs and undergraduate medical education programs with the DMC are not expected to be immediately affected, as they’re covered by different contracts.

In a statement, DMC CEO Dr. Anthony Tedeschi says talks ended because the relationship with Wayne State had become acrimonious. He says the medical center will look for a new long-term academic partner.

Experts say it’s highly unusual to see such an abrupt end to a relationship between a medical college an a major partnering health system … and that it leaves patient care at risk.

DMC is owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corporation, which operates for-profit hospitals in 11 states. Tenet is in the middle of a restructuring of its own, with plans to lay off 2,000 workers and sell several hospitals to slash costs.

This story originally appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte podcast. Find it on Apple Podcasts or wherever fine shows are found — or, enable our Daily Detroit Alexa Skill. 

Share this post