AMA Wire

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012

For Residents

New curriculum for residents teaches cost-conscious care

With health care expenditures projected to reach nearly 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2020, postgraduate medical trainees need to learn more about resource utilization and its effect on the cost of care, according to the American College of Physicians and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine.

With that, the two organizations have teamed up to offer a free curriculum designed to educate internal medicine residents about how to avoid contributing to rising health care costs with unnecessary care. Announced July 10 in an Annals of Internal Medicine article, the curriculum consists of 10 hourlong interactive sessions based on actual patients and their hospital bills.

For each of the modules, residents will be directed to use a five-step framework to help practice habits of high value, cost-conscious care. The final module encourages residents to undertake a quality improvement project at their institution.

American Medical News reports that more than 350 people downloaded the curriculum in the first week since its release, a sign that residents are interested in learning how to consider the economics of treatment decisions.

Program director Cheryl O'Malley, MD, told American Medical News that the curriculum will provide online lessons intended to give residents an understanding that more is not always better.

"The downstream costs of unnecessary testing can come in the form of the patient's inconvenience, immediate risk of the test, long-term risks and the risk of misdiagnosis," she said.

AMA-RFS interim meeting is less than three months away

Information about this year's AMA Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) Interim Assembly Meeting, which will take place Nov. 9–10 in Honolulu, is now available online. View news pertaining to registration, convention committees, open at-large delegate positions and multiple leadership opportunities. Also, access a portal to submit abstracts for this year's AMA Research Symposium. Abstracts are due Aug. 31.

Residents and fellows interested in running for the following leadership positions must be present at the meeting. Applications are due Oct. 1. Available positions include:

  • Resident member of the AMA Board of Trustees
  • Resident member of the AMA Council on Medical Service
  • AMA-RFS sectional and alternate delegates (18 AMA-RFS elected positions)
  • Chair-elect of the AMA-RFS (one AMA-RFS elected position)