Redesigning training for internal medicine

Steven E Weinberger, Lawrence G Smith, Virginia U Collier et al.
Annals of Internal Medicine 2006 June 20, 144 (12): 927-32
The American College of Physicians supports the need for reform throughout the continuum of training in internal medicine. Today's internists must have the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet the challenges of an expanding body of medical knowledge and a rapidly evolving system of health care delivery. Suggested priorities for undergraduate medical education include redesigning curricular experiences to afford students earlier and more exposure to career opportunities in internal medicine, improving ambulatory education, exposing students to outstanding faculty role models in internal medicine, and incorporating educational experiences during the fourth year that optimize its value and relevance to the student's future career plans in internal medicine. Internal medicine residency training should remain a 3-year experience, with a component of core education common to all trainees and a component of customized training in the third year targeted toward the resident's career goals. Residency programs should be designed around educational rather than institutional service needs. The ambulatory component of training requires substantial reform in its structure, sites, content, and timing. Team-based models should be used both for patient care and for flexibility in design of residency training. Better faculty models must be developed that build on the concept of a "core faculty," improve the rewards for teaching faculty, and provide appropriate faculty development focusing on a necessary set of educator competencies.

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