Publication Date: April 27, 2009
Zoë Baird, JD, President, Markle Foundation
Tenley Albright, MD, Director, Collaborative Initiatives at MIT
Denis Cortese, MD, CEO, Mayo Clinic
Michael Johns, MD, Chancellor, Emory University
John “Jack” Stobo, MD, Senior Vice President, Division of Health Sciences and Services, University of California
Event co-hosts Terrence Cascino, M.D., executive dean for education, Mayo Clinic, and Pat Mitchell, president and CEO, The Paley Center for Media, welcomed participants to the National Symposium on Medical and Health Care Education Reform. During the next two days, participants will develop consensus-driven recommendations for medical education reform through tabletop discussion, and submission and ranking of education reform principles.
After the introduction, Denis Cortese, M.D., presented an overview of the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center’s consensus-driven cornerstones for health care reform in America: create value, coordinate care, reform the payment system and insure everyone. He noted that medical education must play a crucial role in preparing individuals to provide high-value, coordinated care and introduced several issues for education professionals to consider, including specific curriculum designed to increase value, student selection criteria, instruction methods, assessment and financing.
Zoë Baird then introduced the panel and framed the discussion around how to train students to create a healthier America. All panelists agreed that the educational system must be redesigned to break down professional silos, creating an educational environment in which physicians, nurses, other allied health professionals, community health workers and family caregivers learn to work together on behalf of the patient.
“There is concern about a shortage of physicians today,” said Michael Johns, M.D. “I think if we gave allied health staff the ability to practice to the full extent of their skills, that shortage would be a lot smaller.
“We need the right person at the right time to provide leadership to the care team,” he continued. “Physicians need to be comfortable not being at point all the time. Every person is important.”
Panel members also noted that the curriculum must incorporate elements of engineering and health delivery science in addition to biological science.
Dr. Cortese commented that the current education system encourages learners to focus on accumulation of knowledge rather than innovative ways to deliver health care to individuals.
The group also called for the development of novel assessments — including measurement based upon patient outcomes, teamwork and individual performance.
“We need to move away from GPA and standard examinations as our primary or sole assessment tools,” said Jack Stobo, M.D. “There is no correlation between these tools and how students perform in practice.”
“We are in control of health professional education& it’s ours to win or lose,” he emphasized. “There currently is a mismatch with how we’re educating professionals and what society needs.”