Practicing effectively in today's health system: teaching systems-based care.Fam Med. 2004 Jan; 36 Suppl:S63-7.FM
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
The Institute of Medicine and the new Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education General Essentials have focused attention on the Undergraduate Medical Education for the 21st Century (UME-21) core content area of systems-based care. Through teaching systems-based care, medical students can learn how physicians effectively deliver and coordinate care within the health system. While medical students can be introduced to the organization, financing, and delivery of the health care system through lectures, the principles and practice of systems-based care must be reinforced through structured learning experiences during the clinical (ie, third and fourth) years. The purpose of this article is to define the undergraduate clinical content and experiences in systems-based care offered by the eight UME-21 partner schools.
The eight partner UME-21 schools exposed third- and fourth-year medical students to a variety of clinical experiences outside the traditional teaching hospital in such settings as physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, the patient's home, hospice, and public health departments. They also taught systems-based care skills such as care coordination, performance assessment, and quality improvement.
Based on surveys of graduating students, the UME-21 programs were successful in exposing students to the aforementioned topics, though there was variability among schools.
The experiences of the UME-21 schools in teaching about systems-based care, as discussed in this paper, may be useful to those involved in medical school curricula planning.