An emerging epidemic of innovation in family medicine residencies.


In 2003, Task Force 2 of the Future of Family Medicine Project published its findings on the training of future family physicians.1 The Task Force concluded that given changes occurring within both the specialty and the health care system, the traditional family medicine curriculum, while successful in the past, will not meet the needs of future medical practice. Rather, educational processes of the future must train family physicians to provide patients with a personal medical home. This would require family physicians to use new technologies that facilitate evidence-based principles and process-oriented care while actively measuring patient outcomes. In addition, they must fully understand how to utilize a biopsychosocial model to create successful physician-patient relationships within the context of communities and families. This special theme issue highlights an emerging epidemic of innovation in family medicine residency education. Six of the nine papers included in this special theme issue provide information about and findings from the Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) Project, funded by the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Foundation and administered by TransforMED, a creation of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The innovations, hypotheses, and measures across all 14 participating residency programs are described in the paper by Carney et al.2 This paper confirms that P4 residency programs care, have important ideas, are willing to take risks, and aspire to improve. They undertook considerable change, not just minor revisions, in the length, structure, and content of training. Importantly, the P4 Steering Committee allowed the family medicine residencies to propose their own education redesign ideas rather than being prescriptive, which has, we believe, fostered a passion and commitment of residency programs to undertake significant transformations. The P4 paper by Garvin et al3 reports the impact of innovations on the Match across all 14 P4 programs and clearly shows that innovation does not hurt and likely helps attract strong residents to the discipline. The paper by Dysinger and colleagues4 reports on different approaches for integrating population health, preventive medicine, and family medicine training in three residency programs, illustrating the strengths and challenges of such combined training. This paper forecasts a future where public health and primary care are destined to reunite, share data, and cross boundaries to work together in practices and communities to improve population health. An important feature of these original research reports on P4 activities is that residency programs partnered to collaborate on these papers that present their approaches and findings. The value of residencies working together can also be seen in the papers describing the I3 and Colorado collaborative activities. I3 is a PCMH practice transformation collaborative of 25 family medicine, pediatric, and internal medicine residencies in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. It is modeled after the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series Collaborative methods, where teams from participating sites engage An Emerging Epidemic of Innovation in Family Medicine Residencies

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@article{Carney2011AnEE, title={An emerging epidemic of innovation in family medicine residencies.}, author={Patricia A. Carney and L. W. Green}, journal={Family medicine}, year={2011}, volume={43 7}, pages={461-3} }