Graduate Medical Education
ACGME to accredit U.S. osteopathic programs
On Oct. 24, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced that it was entering into an agreement with the American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to pursue a unified system for accrediting both allopathic and osteopathic graduate medical education programs. The new, unified system is planned to go into effect in July 2015.
"This is a watershed moment for medical training in the U.S.," said Thomas Nasca, MD, CEO of the ACGME. "This would provide physicians in the United States with a uniform path of preparation for practice. This approach would ensure that the evaluation and accountability for the competency of resident physicians are consistent across all programs."
In a statement, Ray E. Stowers, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), said, "A unified accreditation system creates an opportunity to set universal standards for demonstrating competency with a focus on positive outcomes and the ability to share information on best practices."
FREIDA Online updated with new program data
FREIDA Online, the AMA's website for information on 9,300 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs, has just been updated with new data.
Also, the 161 programs that are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association and the ACGME are now identified. The AOA program identification number and a link to the AOA's website on training programs are visible on the General Information tab for programs with an expanded listing on FREIDA Online.
Cost-conscious care covered in new curriculum for resident physicians
A newly available curriculum is designed to educate internal medicine residents about how to avoid contributing to rising health care costs with unnecessary care. The free curriculum, from the American College of Physicians and Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, consists of 10 hourlong interactive sessions based on actual patients and their hospital bills. Read more in American Medical News.
A 2012 report from the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs looks at physician stewardship of health care resources. The report offers guidance on negotiating the balance between a physician's primary ethical obligation—to promote the well-being of individual patients—and the long-recognized obligation to patients in general to promote public health and access to care.
Night curriculum improves learning in duty-hour era
A new curriculum designed specifically for nighttime pediatrics residents has been proven to improve resident learning and confidence, according to the results of a national field test published recently in Pediatric News.
Such curricula are needed in the wake of the 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty-hour rules, which have put increasing pressure on programs to implement night float systems to maintain coverage and have led to an increase in patient handoffs. Improving patient handoffs will be essential to preserving the quality of patient care under the new duty-hour rules.
To help residents make this adjustment, the AMA offers a resource page on improving patient handoffs.
AMA hires new vice president for medical education programs
The AMA has hired Richard Hawkins, MD, as its new vice president for medical education programs. Dr. Hawkins will have a central leadership role in AMA governance groups, including the Council on Medical Education and Section on Medical Schools.
Formerly, Dr. Hawkins was senior vice president for professional and scientific affairs at the American Board of Medical Specialties. He also served as vice president of assessment programs at the National Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Hawkins is an internist with a specialty focus on infectious diseases.
News and notes
- The AMA has written a letter in support of new legislation that would expand the cap on Medicare-supported training slots for doctors by 15,000 positions. The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2012, from Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), would place an emphasis on expanding residency slots in primary care.
- How do we develop the future leaders of surgery? An article and commentary in the Archives of Surgery examine this question.
- Balancing one's personal and professional lives is a "substantial challenge" for U.S. surgeons and has potential workforce implications (Archives of Surgery).
- The ACGME extends accreditation abroad to Singapore and the Middle East (American Medical News).
- A visa waiver program for international medical graduates (IMGs) has been extended to 2015 (AMA Wire); the AMA supports legislation that would permanently reauthorize the program and allow an expansion of the annual cap of J-1 visa waivers per state.
- Check out the list of program directors and other GME leaders who have been recognized through the 2013 ACGME awards program.
- Georgia faces a "critical" doctor shortage, despite the 50 percent boost in enrollments in the state's medical schools over the last decade. The bottleneck? Lack of residency slots (Atlanta Journal Constitution).
- In Las Vegas, physician shortage makes access to care a gamble (Bloomberg).
- What are the top and bottom states in physician-to-population ratio? (USA Today).
- Register for "Succeeding in the ACGME's NAS: Strategies for Program Administrators and Coordinators," an audio conference hosted by the Association for Hospital Medical Education on Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern.
AMA resources for you and your trainees
- View an archive version of our webinar on ways to expand and improve GME.
- Check out our new recommendations on strategies to expand funding of GME.
- Get trend data on undergraduate and graduate medical education.
- Help your residents master the ACGME general competency requirements.
- Learn more about patient safety in medical education.
- Get updated information on medical licensure.
- Obtain state-by-state GME data
For more reading