A new study published in the July 11 American Journal of Medicine found that patients whose doctors had practiced for at least 20 years stayed longer in the hospital and were more likely to die compared to those whose doctors got their medical license in the past five years. The findings, while surprising, reflect that more seasoned doctors often lack familiarity with current medical guidelines and practices. The results are another reminder of the importance of reforming the model of continuing medical education (CME) so that it applies new knowledge and skills to doctors throughout their careers and is focused more on providing high quality, efficient and cost effective care, domains that have not typically been the focus of CME. Read the Macy report on improving continuing education here.
Training doctors to provide team-based care is one example of how to work more effectively and produce better outcomes for patients. As Don Berwick, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services noted at a recent Macy-sponsored conference, science and technology are advancing at such a rapid pace that it’s virtually impossible for an individual clinician to keep up. In contrast, teams of providers bring their collective knowledge and experience to the table, thus providing a more robust foundation for decision-making than any single clinician can offer. Read the proceedings from the conference on team-based competencies here.
As we work to ensure doctors are equipped with the right skills to practice in today’s health care system, we must consider how best to educate both new and experienced professionals to provide collaborative care and establish effective teams.