NEWPORT, R.I. — Leadership will be key to correcting dysfunctions in the health care system, and creating those future leaders will take innovation, according to Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Rethinking the selection process for medical school acceptance and shifting the emphasis of medical education to be more competency based are two “success factors” included in the redesign of education that would produce those leaders, Kirch said during the Knapp Symposium at the American Ophthalmological Society meeting.
Darrell G. Kirch
The Medical College Admission Test, for example, recently was revised to incorporate more than just facts.
“The MCAT does look at academic readiness, but there are these other dimensions, what we call ‘pre-professional personal attributes,’ as well as diversity that are all part of the selection process,” Kirch said, adding that the MCAT has been “drastically redesigned” to include not only traditional biological and natural science concepts, but also social sciences, behavioral sciences and critical reasoning.
“We’re also looking at other tools,” he said, for example, situational judgment tests. “We’re thinking about a situational judgment pre-med version test and a situational judgment test pre-residency, which would give you another tool, something other than [USMLE] step 1 scores, to use when you screen medical school applicants for residency programs.”
Leadership competencies should also be emphasized, he said.
“Once you’ve adopted this notion that there are core competencies in medical knowledge and communication skills and the like, you can also acknowledge that leadership requires different competencies,” he said.
Furthermore, future physician leaders will need to change the institutional culture within health care and lead by example, according to Kirch, who has been encouraged by the example of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an endeavor to foster dialogue between patients and physicians regarding evidence-based health care choices.
“Stewardship may be the thing that we as physician leaders can pay the most attention to,” he said. - by Patricia Nale, ELS
Disclosure: Kirch reports no relevant financial disclosures.