The projects emerging from the consortium can generally be grouped into one of six themes used to describe the activities of the initiative.
Developing flexible, competency-based pathways. Some students—for example, an experienced nurse or physician assistant—may be able to complete a medical school education in less time than others. One program, for example, allows qualified applicants medical school entry at an advanced stage and, through a competency-based curriculum and rigorous assessment, provides the chance to graduate in less than four years. Other students may need more time.
Teaching new content in health-systems science. This intersection of how health systems deliver care, and how patients receive and access it, is the focus of projects at many consortium schools and includes coursework, enhanced clerkships and student rotations at community health centers. The consortium’s work resulted in the 2016 publication of the Health Systems Science textbook and the creation of a health-systems science subject exam in the topic with the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Working with health care delivery systems in novel ways. These programs can include placing medical students in immersive situations where they add and receive value through the experience of helping patients as part of a health care team. For example, in one program students work as navigators at a patient-centered medical home, in close contact with patients by providing information, care coordination and emotional support. At another school, students work as part of care coordination teams, providing assistance to patients with multiple chronic conditions in their homes.
Making technology work for learning. A specially created, teaching version of an electronic health record, using authentic patient data that has been deidentified and misidentified, provides the opportunity for medical students to safely, but realistically, develop deep skills and understanding of this essential practice tool.
Envisioning the master adaptive learner. These are programs designed to provide the basis for lifelong skills which, as one program describes, creates medical students “who learn, engage in guided self-assessment, and adapt to the evolving needs of their patients and the health care system throughout their careers.”
Shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Programs use varying approaches—in the classroom and through coaching, seminars, and workshops and other means—to promote the development of collaborative leaders, who are effective communicators, and able to embrace changes and opportunities.
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