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Rapid changes in the healthcare environment have introduced knowledge content gaps in graduate medical education (GME) programs. Exposing residents to emerging concepts including patient quality, safety, business of medicine and individualized medicine are essential to train the next generation of physician leaders and provide novel skills needed for success in practice. Challenges related to service commitments have traditionally limited GME programs the flexibility to address these gaps.
Within a newly accredited pediatric residency program, the residency program leadership took the opportunity to design and implement a novel curriculum, LEAD (Leadership Executive Academic Development), as a two-week service-free and immersive format where topics including Leadership, Individualized Medicine, Cultural Competence, Ethics, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Safety and Business of Medicine were addressed. Simulated patient encounters correlating to these sessions were additionally included as a method of reinforcing content.
Between the inaugural two cohorts of residents (n=23, academic years 2014-2016), the authors found this service-free and immersive approach was feasible and highly conducive to addressing these innovative topics. Early results from program evaluation revealed that residents highly valued all LEAD sessions (Mean Scores: 4.1-4.7, Scale 0-5) however, leadership and CQI sessions had the highest mean scores reported for didactic content whereas individualized medicine and cultural competence were the most valued as simulated sessions. Additionally, self-efficacy scores were noted to improve in all topics following the implementation of the curricula but were particularly improved in topics including leadership and the business of medicine.
These early outcomes indicate that implementing a highly-structured immersion curriculum is a promising approach to addressing current GME curriculum gaps. Future study of the role of the LEAD curriculum on trainee’s skills, competencies and potential career choices is an ongoing programmatic goal.
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