Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013
News for Academic Physicians
Does health care teamwork make for the best medicine?
Medical education should prepare students for practice in physician-led interprofessional teams, according to new AMA policy set in November during the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. View a report from the AMA Council on Medical Eductaion on which the policy is based.
Indeed, delegating tasks to other qualified health professionals and support personnel can help physicians rediscover the joy of practicing medicine and avoid burnout—along with ensuring a higher quality of patient care. That's the conclusion of Peter Anderson, MD, of Virginia, a family physician who is also a "familiar physician," as he put it in a recent article by The Atlantic.
"A physician that knows that their patients, and a physician that the patient knows, is far and away the best deliverer of both quality and cost-efficient health care," Dr. Anderson said. "To love medicine again, physicians need to delegate."
From a workforce perspective, delegation to appropriately licensed and supervised personnel, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners, can help mitigate the physician shortage. Electronic health care records and communication, along with "pods" of physicians working in tandem, are two other promising techniques, according to the authors of a recent Health Affairs study.
Meanwhile, medical schools are changing how students are being trained, according to a recent article in Crain's New York Business. The article explains how schools are putting a premium on teamwork—among physicians, nurses, social workers, health aides and others.
UT Southwestern wins latest Event of the Month award
University of Texas Southwestern (UT) Medical School is the latest winner of the AMA Medical Student Section's (MSS) new Event of the Month award, which showcases recruitment, community service, education and AMA-MSS National Service Project events coordinated by individual AMA medical student sections.
The school won for its Holiday in the Park event held Dec. 15, an annual winter carnival and toy drive coordinated by the local AMA and Texas Medical Association sections at UT Southwestern. This year, the local sections partnered with Center of Hope, a shelter for women and children.
More than 200 shelter residents attended the carnival, which consisted of several activities and games, and children there received more than 200 toys. The AMA provided funding for the activities, games, food and beverages at the event.
Visit the Event of the Month Web page for a detailed description of the event along with information about past winners.
Next AMA-SMS meeting set for June 14–15
The next AMA Section on Medical Schools (SMS) meeting will take place June 14–15 in Chicago in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. Watch the AMA-SMS Web page for more information as it becomes available.