In early 2013, 119 out of 143 (82%) allopathic medical schools in the country responded to a call from the American Medical Association for their “Accelerating Change in Medical Education” program, designed to “alter undergraduate medical education significantly through bold, rigorously evaluated innovations.” Of these, 30 schools were invited to submit a full application, and the Brody School of Medicine (BSOM) was one of the final eleven applicants to receive a grant. In addition to BSOM-ECU, grants were awarded to medical schools at Brown, Indiana, the Mayo Clinic, Michigan, NYU, Oregon Health Sciences University, Penn State, UC-Davis, UC-San Francisco, and Vanderbilt.
The gap between what physicians are taught and the future needs of our health care systems is substantial. Health systems today need every physician be expert in patient safety, quality improvement, and systems-based practice. Additionally, this expertise must be developed in medical graduates who embody the highest values of professionalism and can thrive in an environment of interprofessional, team-based care. The REACH program at Brody School of Medicine is designed to close this substantial gap between today’s medical school and residency trainees and tomorrow’s physicians.
For Brody medical students, we will augment the core curriculum (basic science courses such as anatomy, pathology, physiology, etc. and clinical clerkships) to include longitudinal education in patient safety, quality improvement, team-based care and population health. An emphasis on integration with other health-related disciplines will foster interprofessional skills and prepare students to lead health care teams.
Innovations in health professions education and the future of health care are inextricably linked. Closer links are needed between education and health care delivery. Innovations in health profession education are needed to better align education with the needs of the public.
An important component of REACH will be "Teachers of Quality Academy" designed to develop in our faculty the skills necessary to practice and teach this new curriculum. The Teachers of Quality Academy will include faculty from the Brody School of Medicine, as well as the Colleges of Nursing, Allied Health and School of Dental Medicine at ECU and teaching faculty from the Department of Public Health.
Innovative educational strategies to be offered throughout the four years of the medical school curriculum, include e-learning, simulation, problem-based learning, clinical skills training, and targeted clinical experiences focused on teaching our students these new and important competencies.
Ten students will be selected from each class to participate in a parallel, intensive LINC (Leaders in Innovative Care) Scholars program. LINC Scholars will serve as active members and coaches on process improvement teams and will also function as coaches and mentors to other students.
Like the TQA, each class of LINC Scholars will also include students from all health sciences schools and colleges within East Carolina University.