[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that internists and family practitioners have somewhat different "disease" perspectives, which may be generated by use of different explanatory models during medical training (pathophysiological vs. biopsychosocial, respectively). This article explores differences between internists and family practitioners in their suggested diagnoses, level of diagnostic certainty, test and prescription ordering, when encountering exactly the same "patient" with coronary heart disease (CHD). Internists were more certain of a CHD diagnosis than family practitioners and were more likely to act on this diagnosis. Family practitioners were more likely to diagnose (and were more certain of) a mental health condition. While many physicians simultaneously entertain several alternate diagnoses, diagnostic certainty has shown to have an important influence on subsequent clinical actions, such as stress testing and prescription of beta blockers. These results may inform future educational strategies designed to reduce diagnostic uncertainty in the face of life-threatening conditions, such as CHD.
Medical Care Research and Review 06/2011; 68(6):650-66. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Title VII, Section 747 (Title VII) legislation, which authorizes the Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry grant program, provides statutory authority to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to award contracts and cooperative agreements aimed at enhancing the quality of primary care training in the United States.More than 35 contracts and cooperative agreements have been issued by HRSA with Title VII federal funds, most often to national organizations promoting the training of physician assistants and medical students and representing the primary care disciplines of family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics. These activities have influenced generalist medicine through three mechanisms: (1) building collaboration among the primary care disciplines and between primary care and specialty medicine, (2) strengthening primary care generally through national initiatives designed to develop and implement new models of primary care training, and (3) enhancing the quality of primary care training in specific disease areas determined to be of national importance.The most significant outcomes of the Title VII contracts awarded to national primary care organizations are increased collaboration and enhanced innovation in ambulatory training for students, residents, and faculty. Overall, generalist competencies and education in new content areas have been the distinguishing features of these initiatives. This effort has enhanced not only generalist training but also the general medical education of all students, including future specialists, because so much of the generalist competency agenda is germane to the general medical education mission.This article is part of a theme issue of Academic Medicine on the Title VII health professions training programs.
Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 12/2008; 83(11):1021-9. · 2.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) was formed to improve patient safety and quality of care by promoting the use of health information technology through community-based implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange. The Collaborative has recently implemented EHRs in a diverse set of competitively selected communities, encompassing nearly 500 physicians serving over 500,000 patients. Targeting both EHR implementation and health information exchange at the community level has identified numerous challenges and strategies for overcoming them. This article describes the formation and implementation phases of the Collaborative, focusing on barriers identified, lessons learned, and policy issues.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 11/2008; 16(1):132-9. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary care is essential to the effective and efficient functioning of health care delivery systems, yet there is an impending crisis in the field due in part to a dysfunctional payment system. We present a fundamentally new model of payment for primary care, replacing encounter-based imbursement with comprehensive payment for comprehensive care. Unlike former iterations of primary care capitation (which simply bundled inadequate fee-for-service payments), our comprehensive payment model represents new investment in adult primary care, with substantial increases in payment over current levels. The comprehensive payment is directed to practices to include support for the modern systems and teams essential to the delivery of comprehensive, coordinated care. Income to primary physicians is increased commensurate with the high level of responsibility expected. To ensure optimal allocation of resources and the rewarding of desired outcomes, the comprehensive payment is needs/risk-adjusted and performance-based. Our model establishes a new social contract with the primary care community, substantially increasing payment in return for achieving important societal health system goals, including improved accessibility, quality, safety, and efficiency. Attainment of these goals should help offset and justify the costs of the investment. Field tests of this and other new models of payment for primary care are urgently needed.
Journal of General Internal Medicine 04/2007; 22(3):410-5. · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The state of Massachusetts has significant early experience in planning for and implementing interoperability networks for exchange of clinical and financial data. Members of our evolving data-sharing organizations gained valuable experience that is of potential benefit to others regarding the governance, policies, and technologies underpinning regional health information organizations. We describe the history, roles, and evolution of organizations and their plans for and success with pilot projects.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 01/2005; 12(6):596-601. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A renewed emphasis on clinical competence and its assessment has grown out of public concerns about the safety, efficacy, and accountability of health care in the United States. Medical schools and residency training programs are paying increased attention to teaching and evaluating basic clinical skills, stimulated in part by these concerns and the responding initiatives of accrediting, certifying, and licensing bodies. This paper, from the Residency Review Committee for Internal Medicine of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, proposes a new outcomes-based accreditation strategy for residency training programs in internal medicine. It shifts residency program accreditation from external audit of educational process to continuous assessment and improvement of trainee clinical competence.
Annals of internal medicine 07/2004; 140(11):902-9. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Educators have begun to question whether medical students are adequately prepared for the core clerkships. Inadequate preclerkship preparation may hinder learning and may be predictive of future achievement. This study assessed and compared the views of clerkship directors regarding student preparation for the core clinical clerkships in six key competencies.
In 2002, a national survey was conducted of 190 clerkship directors in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry from 32 U.S. medical schools. Clerkship directors were asked to report their views on the appropriate level of student preparation needed to begin the core clinical clerkships (none, minimal, intermediate, advanced), and the adequacy of that preparation (ranging from "much less" to "much more than necessary") in six key clinical competencies.
A total of 140 clerkship directors responded (74%). The majority reported that students need at least intermediate ability in five of six competencies: communication (96%), professionalism (96%), interviewing/physical examination (78%), life-cycle stages (57%), epidemiology/probabilistic thinking (56%), and systems of care (27%). Thirty to fifty percent of clerkship directors felt students are less prepared than necessary in the six competencies. Views were similar across all specialties and generally did not differ by other clerkship director characteristics.
Almost half of clerkship directors were concerned that students do not receive adequate preparation in key competencies before starting the core clinical clerkships. Many medical schools may need to give more attention to the preclerkship preparation of students in these high-priority areas.
Academic Medicine 02/2004; 79(1):56-61. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The growing prevalence of chronic illness has important implications for the training of all physicians. The authors assessed the degree to which undergraduate medical curricula explicitly address chronic care competencies selected through literature and expert review.
In 2001, trained student assistants interviewed directors of required medical school courses (internal medicine, pediatrics, family practice, and ambulatory care clerkships; longitudinal care; and other relevant courses) at 16 representative U.S. medical schools sampled by geography, curriculum reform activity, and primary care orientation of graduates. Course directors were asked whether chronic care competencies were addressed using specific curricular methods (written objectives, course materials, observational evaluations, written/oral examinations, other required course activities), and to rate the importance (1 = not important; 5 = essential) of each competency for their course and for the overall undergraduate curriculum.
All 70 eligible course directors responded. Of 49 chronic care competencies, 29 (59%) received mean importance ratings for a course of >/=3, but only 14 (29%) were addressed using two or more specific curricular methods. Course directors gave highest importance ratings (mean > 3.9) to screening for abuse, awareness of patients' sociocultural perspectives, and protecting patients' confidentiality. They gave lowest importance ratings (mean </= 2.6) to knowing strategies to maximize patients' potential, ability to discuss alternative information sources, and ability to assess equipment needs. Their importance ratings correlated only moderately with the number of curricular methods used to address each competency (r(2) = 0.27-0.80, p <.05).
Course directors agreed about the importance of many competencies in chronic care but reported considerable variation in how they addressed competencies in their courses. Medical schools can improve training in chronic care by paying greater attention to specific methods for addressing important chronic care competencies.
Academic Medicine 02/2004; 79(1):32-40. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dramatic changes in health care have stimulated reform of undergraduate medical education. In an effort to improve the teaching of generalist competencies and encourage learning in the outpatient setting, the Society of General Internal Medicine joined with the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine in a federally sponsored initiative to develop a new curriculum for the internal medicine core clerkship. Using a broad-based advisory committee and working closely with key stakeholders (especially clerkship directors), the project collaborators helped forge a new national consensus on the learning agenda for the clerkship (a prioritized set of basic generalist competencies) and on the proportion of time that should be devoted to outpatient care (at least one third of the clerkship). From this consensus emerged a new curricular model that served as the basis for production of a curriculum guide and faculty resource package. The guide features the prioritized set of basic generalist competencies and specifies the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values needed to master them, as well as a list of suggested training problems. It also includes recommended training experiences, schedules, and approaches to faculty development, precepting, and student evaluation. Demand for the guide has been strong and led to production of a second edition, which includes additional materials, an electronic version, and a pocket guide for students and faculty. A follow-up survey of clerkship directors administered soon after completion of the first edition revealed widespread use of the curricular guide but also important barriers to full implementation of the new curriculum. Although this collaborative effort appears to have initiated clerkship reform, long-term success will require an enhanced educational infrastructure to support teaching in the outpatient setting.
Annals of internal medicine 02/2001; 134(1):30-7. · 13.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dramatic changes in health care have stimulated reform of under- graduate medical education. In an effort to improve the teaching of generalist competencies and encourage learning in the out- patient setting, the Society of General Internal Medicine joined with the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine in a federally sponsored initiative to develop a new curriculum for the internal medicine core clerkship. Using a broad-based advisory committee and working closely with key stakeholders (especially clerkship directors), the project collaborators helped forge a new national consensus on the learning agenda for the clerkship (a prioritized set of basic generalist competencies) and on the proportion of time that should be devoted to outpatient care (at least one third of the clerkship). From this consensus emerged a new curricular model that served as the basis for production of a curriculum guide and faculty resource package. The guide features the prior- itized set of basic generalist competencies and specifies the req- uisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values needed to master them, as well as a list of suggested training problems. It also includes recommended training experiences, schedules, and ap- proaches to faculty development, precepting, and student evalua- tion. Demand for the guide has been strong and led to production of a second edition, which includes additional materials, an elec- tronic version, and a pocket guide for students and faculty. A follow-up survey of clerkship directors administered soon after completion of the first edition revealed widespread use of the curricular guide but also important barriers to full implementation of the new curriculum. Although this collaborative effort appears to have initiated clerkship reform, long-term success will require an enhanced educational infrastructure to support teaching in the outpatient setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1995, the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) developed and disseminated a new model curriculum for the medicine core clerkship that was designed to enhance learning of generalist competencies and increase interest in general internal medicine.
To evaluate the dissemination and use of the resulting SGIM/CDIM Core Medicine Clerkship Curriculum Guide.
Survey of internal medicine clerkship directors at the 125 medical schools in the United States.
The questionnaire elicited information about the use and usefulness of the Guide and each of its components, barriers to effective use of the Guide, and outcomes associated with use of the Guide. Responses were received from 95 clerkship directors, representing 88 (70%) of the 125 medical schools. Eighty-seven (92%) of the 95 respondents were familiar with the Guide, and 80 respondents had used it. The 4 components used most frequently were the basic generalist competencies (used by 83% of those familiar with the Guide), learning objectives for these competencies (used by 83%), learning objectives for training problems (used by 70%), and specific training problems (used by 67%); 74% to 85% of those using these components found them moderately or very useful. The most frequently identified barriers to use of the Guide were insufficient faculty time, insufficient number of ambulatory care preceptors and training sites, and need for more faculty development. About 30% or more of those familiar with the Guide reported that use of the Guide was associated with improved ability to meet clerkship accreditation criteria, improved performance of students on the clerkship exam, and increased clerkship time devoted to ambulatory care.
This federally supported initiative that engaged the collaborative efforts of the SGIM and the CDIM was successful in facilitating significant changes in the medicine core clerkship across the United States.
Journal of General Internal Medicine 08/2000; 15(7):484-91. · 3.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To prioritize competencies that should be addressed in the medicine core clerkship, assess factors influencing this prioritization, and estimate the percentage of clerkship time that should be devoted to inpatient versus outpatient care.
A national survey of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) was used. Using explicit criteria, respondents assigned priority scores, on a 1 to 5 scale, to 17 general competencies and 60 disease-specific clinical competencies pertinent to care of adult patients in inpatient. ambulatory, intensive care, and emergency settings.
Ninety-three (75%) of 124 CDIM members responded. The highest mean priority scores were assigned to 6 general competencies: case presentation skills (4.65), diagnostic decision-making (4.64), history and physical diagnosis (4.61), test interpretation (4.47), communication with patients (4.35), and therapeutic decision-making (4.12). Disease-specific clinical competency areas receiving the highest mean priority scores were: hypertension (4.57), coronary disease (4.53), diabetes mellitus (4.45), heart failure (4.42), pneumonia (4.39), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.26), acid-base/electrolyte disorders (4.19), and acute chest pain (4.08). Priorities for general competencies were moderately correlated with importance to the practice of general internists (mean Spearman rho 0.49) and with importance to students pursuing careers outside internal medicine (mean Spearman rho 0.45), but only weakly correlated with the adequacy with which a competency was addressed in other parts of the curriculum. Respondents' mean recommended allocation of clerkship time was: 52% inpatient, 33% ambulatory care, 8% intensive care, and 7% emergency medicine. This time allocation did not differ by any characteristics of respondents.
There is consensus among medicine clerkship directors that the medicine core clerkship should emphasize fundamental competencies and devote at least one third of the time to clinical competencies pertinent to ambulatory care.
The American Journal of Medicine 07/1997; 102(6):564-71. · 5.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Establishing and sustaining patient-centered medical homes will require new investments in primary care. The Payment Reform Task Force of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative consensus statement recommends a blend of different payment strategies for the majority of patients in a practice along with risk adjustment. It also recommends shifting focus to value, ensuring that the working environment for primary care is improved, optimizing administrative practicality and relying on pilots with systematic evaluation and review to evolve the best strategy.
The Journal of ambulatory care management 34(1):33-7.