Sunday, November 3, 2013

#AAMC13: Saturday November 2, 2013 Reflections

It is currently the first night of my time in Philadelphia at the 2013 AAMC meeting.  I’ve only been here a little over 24 hours, but today has just been phenomenal for thinking about the future of medicine and medical education.  This blog is a few reflections from the day.  There were many other sessions that I attended, but these are some key elements from a few of the sessions that had a great impact on me.  The credit truly goes to the speakers whom I heard discuss these topics.

CME (Attribution: David Price)

The old way of thinking about CME is this: a “credit” required to justify “widgets” of learning.  This is shifting to a new CME/CPD model: aligning education with the gaps/needs of our communities.  In this new model, we can study why things work or don’t work.  For example: Does it work?  Can it work in real life?  How/why does it work?  Does it work better/cheaper?   What I think the challenge will be is finding the linkage to determine how the education is created, disseminated and implemented across health care systems.

Teaching Costs of Care/Value in Health Care (Attribution: Chris Moriates, Vineet Arora, Neel Shah)

The ABIM Foundation created a wonderful program as part of the Choosing Wisely Campaign which was a competition for programs/schools to present educational innovations to teach this important topic.  The criteria for this necessitated that the innovations be FINER: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical and Relevant.  Ultimately, interventions needed to address “COST”: Culture, Oversight, Systems Change, and Training.  3 speakers from different institutions highlighted their innovations, which demonstrated a variety of techniques to tackle this critical component of health care. My take home is that the health care providers have an obligation to our patients and society to tackle the issues of health care costs stemming from the unsustainable strain that these costs are putting on society.  This program showcases the fact that medicine as a field, under the leadership of the ABIM Foundation, is not pointing fingers at others (insurance companies politicians, or lawyers, for example), but rather is looking introspectively at how can we make a difference in addressing the cost issue.  The issue is real, but we are no longer burying our heads in the sand.

The Future of Medicine and the Need for More Residency Training Positions

I had the fortune of having dinner with our Associate Dean for Medical Student Affairs and 3 medical students from the IU School of Medicine.  We all reflected on the day, and what we all can take from the conference so far.  One big theme from that discussion is that advocacy is alive and well in the current generation that is going through school and training now.  Advocacy can take many forms, such as helping the disenfranchised, educating patients and families about the importance of vaccines, and/or even lobbying Congress to secure more positions for residency training.  The future of health care needs more physicians: medical schools have responded by increasing enrollment (and adding new schools), but the “bottleneck” is truly at the GME level.  In order to alleviate this, the number of residency positions need to increase.  This is not just a way to help students secure a residency position, but is the ultimate path towards addressing societal need for more health care providers.

Thank you, AAMC, for a wonderful first day of learning, camaraderie, discussion and interaction.  I look forward to the next few days as well!

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