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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

For Residents

Should GME programs be socially accountable?

Standards should be enacted to ensure graduate medical education (GME) programs promote a physician workforce that meets the needs of local communities in a socially accountable way, according to the American Academy of Family Physician's (AAFP) Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care.

The center based its recommendations, which were published in the September issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, on interviews with 18 stakeholders from GME training sites, government agencies and health care organizations.

The center believes that social accountability can be encompassed in three overarching themes:

  • Creating a diverse physician workforce to address regional needs as well as primary care and subspecialty shortages
  • Ensuring quality in training and care to best serve patients
  • Providing service to surrounding communities

The center believes that these themes can be measured by reviewing graduates' specialties and practice locations, evaluating curricular content and reviewing program services to surrounding communities.

"We realized before doing the study that there is no real definition of accountability or social accountability within graduate medical education," family physician and lead study investigator Anjani Reddy, MD, said in an article for AAFP News. "The aim of the study was really to highlight the idea that there should be some accountability, to talk about it and to define it."

But the authors also acknowledge that aligning financial incentives with social accountability could meet with some resistance. According to one of the participants they studied, "I am not sure you are going to get buy-in from teaching hospitals, since this could imply that their funding could get diminished."

AMA-RFS meeting resolution deadline coming up

Registration now is open for the 2013 Interim Meeting of the AMA's Resident and Fellow Section (RFS). The meeting will be held Nov. 14-16 just outside the nation's capital in National Harbor, Md.

The agenda includes policymaking, networking sessions, educational programming and the annual AMA Research Symposium showcasing research from hundreds of medical students, residents and fellows from around the country. Registration (AMA login required) will close Nov. 4.

Consider volunteering to serve on one of the AMA-RFS' four convention committees (Reference Committee, Credentials Committee, Rules Committee and Hospitality Committee). This is a great opportunity for new members and newly transitioning members to meet the section. The deadline to apply is Friday.