Med schools start picturing their place in a medical home world

As the health care system shifts toward a more patient-centered and outcomes-based approach, more medical schools and residency programs are exploring how to train the next generation of physicians to practice in the medical home model.

For many programs, the shift is causing them to rethink traditional medical education, including decisions about how, where and with whom they train students. Several schools either are testing new instructional models or are revamping their curricula to educate trainees on the medical home concept.

“Everybody is starting to look at this,” said Joanne Conroy, MD, chief health care officer with the Assn. of American Medical Colleges. “We believe this is a great vehicle to train medical students in a different way, and to really attract more students who are interested in primary care.”

Education on the medical home model needs to address several core principles, according to a 2010 report by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Assn. Students need to understand patient-centered care, teamwork, performance improvement and population-based care. They also must think about maximizing access through nontraditional care methods, the report said.

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