“To help patients and families navigate the U.S. healthcare system, physicians need to understand the system’s intricacies and medical economics,” says Pablo A. Joo, M.D., assistant dean for medical education. To that end, Dr. Joo chaired an Einstein working group of faculty, students and experts that developed a Population Health and the Practice of Medicine curriculum with content and learning objectives in 10 areas—see diagram below.
Einstein professors have incorporated aspects of the new curriculum into their courses. In the family medicine clerkship, for example, Einstein medical students and Columbia nurse practitioner students do team-based learning exercises to solve problems involving primary care patients. Microbiology students receive hands-on experience with Montefiore quality improvement officers in reducing hospital-acquired infections. In the pediatrics clerkship, students practice informing families about medical errors. Ambulatory-care students learn about health policy, financial reimbursements to providers and institutions, health insurance, drug formularies and prior authorizations, and issues around medical malpractice.
Einstein students appreciate the interdisciplinary effort to strengthen their education. Says Dr. Joo, “This new curriculum promotes many of Einstein’s educational competencies, especially ‘physician as advocate and colleague.’ We are producing physicians who can fully meet the needs of patients and society.”