Experts Propose A Primary-Care Curriculum

Primary Care: Education experts at Harvard Medical School, along with several medical students, propose a primary-care curriculum to coordinate activities across departments and develop a greater understanding of primary care in all students.  Eleven major themes emerged in their discussions:  longitudinal patient experiences across all 4 years; comfort with uncertainty and undifferentiated illness presentations; care management across organizations; communication skills; common acute care syndromes; common chronic illness issues; prevention; mental illness, substance use, and violence; quality improvement; interprofessional training; and population health issues.  These are worthy and difficult-to-achieve goals.   Curricular change alone is unlikely to increase the supply of U.S. primary-care physicians, unless the compensation difference with subspecialists is diminished.  — Laura Willett, MD

Fazio SB, Demasi M, Farren E, Frankl S, Gottlieb B, Hoy J, Johnson A, Kasper J, Lee P, McCarthy C, Miller K, Morris J, O’Hare K, Rosales R, Simmons L, Smith B, Treadway K, Goodell K, Ogur B. Blueprint for an Undergraduate Primary Care Curriculum. Acad Med. 2016 Jul 12.

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