Saturday, March 24, 2012

Beyond Flexner Conference on the Social Mission in Medical Education

"Beyond Flexner: Social Mission in Medical Education", to be held in Tulsa May 15-17, promises to be a major conference in addressing and enhancing the social missions of medical and other health professions education.

Chaired by Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, of George Washington University and the Medical Education Futures Study, and Gerald Clancy, MD, President of the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa and Dean of the School of Community Medicine there, feature speakers will include David Satcher, MD and H. Jack Geiger, MD.

I have no idea whether others will bring this up, but I am again motivated by having recently reviewed the literature on why under-represented minority college students who want to become doctors don't end up applying. Barr, et al, found a negative experience in a chemistry course was the single largest cause[1]. How much is the ability to use complex chemistry important in a physician compared to commitment to meeting social missions? Indeed, other than passing the first two years of classes and USMLE I, is it useful at all?

I hope that these are the kind of issues we address.

I will be there and look forward to joining a lot of enthusiastic and creative colleagues!

[1] Barr DA, Gonzalez ME, Warant S. The Leaky Pipeline: Factors Associated With  Early Decline in Interest in Premedical Studies Among Underrepresented Minority Undergraduate Students, Acad Med, 2008; 83:503–511.

1 comment:

Bob Bowman said...

The term Beyond Flexner is quite interesting, but what is required is actually Flexner once again.

Flexner had the follow perspectives
1. true medical education focus
2. outsider (for awhile)
3. right admissions
4. best training infrastructure
5. financially solvent med ed

Flexner applied today would still have 1 and 2. The right admissions would be representative of the US pop and not stacked to over 75% from the top income quartile. The infrastructure would integrate training with practice and finance - especially health access training in 30,000 zip codes in most need of workforce.

The problem is that the original Flexner Designs were distorted (like the original Medicare). The real designers have shaped 50% of health spending and 50% of US workforce in 1000 zip codes in 1% of the land area - the best design for them but not the best for medical education or health care delivery for an entire nation.

To advance to social medicine "Beyond Flexner" is not possible until US medical education recovers to at least the basic standards of Flexner - clinician focus in admission and training focused and specific medical education focus and more.

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