The nation's leading doctor's organization wants medical schools to prepare students for the reality of practicing medicine in a value-based system by teaching the business of care delivery.
The American Medical Association on Tuesday launched a new textbook that outlines and defines methods for training physicians in the discipline of “Health Systems Science." The goal is to show how healthcare professionals work together to deliver value-based healthcare and how providers can improve patient care and healthcare delivery.
AMA CEO Dr. James Madara said medical schools until now have not adapted their curriculums to reflect the recent changes to healthcare delivery, leaving doctors at a disadvantage.
“Over the last century, medical school curriculum organically incorporates new discovery and medical breakthroughs, but its focus and overall structure remain reflective of what it was in the early 20th century,” Madara said during a call with reporters. “The result has been an ever-widening gap between how physicians in the U.S. are trained and educated and the practical realities of the modern healthcare environment.”
The effort is part of a collaborative initiative started in 2013 between the AMA and 11 medical schools to modernize curriculums. The effort has since expanded to include 32 schools, which make up the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.
A number of schools within the consortium have begun to incorporate health systems science.
Penn State College of Medicine was awarded a $1 million grant from AMA to design a new curriculum based on the current needs of health systems. The result was the 2014 launch of the a program that gets first- and second-year medical students to serve as patient navigators within health facilities.
“We teach and grapple with the concepts of population health, social determinants of health, high value, cost-conscious care, leadership and the processes of healthcare delivery,” said Dr. Jed Gonzalo, associate dean for Health Systems Education at Penn State College of Medicine. “These are concepts that were really not taught in medical school.”
Both Penn State and Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School received advanced chapters of the textbook as part of each school's work in developing their health systems science curriculum. Madara said the book in its entirety should be available to all medical schools by mid-December.