2021 ACGME Annual Education Conference - Day 3 Recap

While COVID-19 has become a catalyst for change – a defining moment for all of us to reimagine medical education the way it should be. The ACGME Keynote Speaker, Marvin R. Dunn Keynote Speaker issued a thought-provoking and powerful challenge to the graduate medical (GME) community: to take on not just the job of clinical care, but to advocate for the “moral determinants of health,” a set of actions to address many of the underlying societal causes that lead to poor clinical health and clinical health outcomes.“There needs to be a reckoning, I think,” said Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, KBE. “And that leads me to you.”

Dr. Berwick described healthcare as a repair shop-whether it is for depression, a heart attack, disease, etc. patients need repaired. He describes the “business” of healthcare as a risky business because of medical errors and inequities/disparities that can and do impact patient outcomes. The patient delivery model of the past emphasized it was the clinician’s job to repair. But the challenges of the past year, shined light on the inequities of social disparities that the world can no longer ignore.

The sequence of events that led to the problems of today because today’s problems are a manifestation of the past. There is no moving towards a brighter future without addressing what is broken today. The question of who can help lead the change highlights that a collaborative community that works together can find answers to challenges. The social determinants of healthcare are part of a causal chain and there is no way to be proactive without addressing the root cause which requires uncomfortable truths and dialogues that are focused on the outcomes of the greater good.The implications for GME are still unclear, Dr. Berwick admitted. But if the community works together, it will find more answers than challenges, he said.

“You are preparing the people for the future,” he said, “and it’s time to raise these issues among us as stewards of the enterprise of health care, and maybe even more, of health in the nation.”

While he was addressing the GME community his powerful message resonates with New Innovations. How can we support this inspiring community with their aspirational and altruistic goals? We do not know the answer yet; but we want to partner with you to learn more.