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Integrating Population Health in Graduate Medical Education

The Essential Hospitals Institute held the first session of the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Population Health Learning Network on Jan. 25. Supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the learning network is a new member benefit to foster the development of GME content focused on social determinants of health.

In the first webinar, Institute staff summarized the relevance of population health in GME and described how hospitals could build on their traditional roles as acute and coordinated care providers to adopt community-integrated health care.

The session shifted to a discussion on “Creating a Shared Aim” among stakeholders for GME programs working to focus on social determinants of health. Stacy Potts, MD, MEd, shared how association member UMass Memorial Health Care, in Worcester, Massachusetts, created a shared aim to integrate population health into a family medicine residency. She also gave an overview of the program’s concentrated and longitudinal experiences. With support from an Association of American Medical Colleges grant, Potts engaged in participatory planning with identified stakeholders, set a shared aim, and identified population health competencies for residents. She encouraged GME leaders to engage broad stakeholders, set realistic goals, and integrate population health into existing curricular elements.

The remaining learning network sessions will cover:

  • identifying local resources;
  • developing curriculum;
  • creating practical learning opportunities;
  • overcoming barriers; and
  • managing and improving population health residency programs.

In addition to monthly webinars with expert speakers and associated resources, participants are asked to complete lab exercises that the Institute will use to personalize a GME population health plan for each hospital.

Thirty-five participants from 19 member institutions have registered for the learning network, including designated institutional officials, residency program directors, core faculty, and executives. The next webinar, on identifying local resources, will be held Feb. 15, with guest speakers from Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Register Now for the Graduate Medical Education Learning Network

Registration has reopened for a limited time. Join now to catch up on the webinar recording, resources, and lab exercise from the first session, Creating a Shared Aim, before joining us on Feb. 15.

The GME Learning Network is part of the Institute’s broader effort to support essential hospitals in implementing community-integrated health care. For a glimpse at some of the efforts underway in essential hospitals to influence social determinants of health, visit essentialcommunities.org.

Contact Principal Research Associate Jennifer Stephens, MPH, at jstephens@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0107 with questions.

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About the Author

Jennifer Stephens is principal research associate at America's Essential Hospitals.