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Article says funding for medical education research is “conspicuously absent”

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As the Institute of Medicine Reports on Graduate Medical Education, Penn Expert Calls For Innovation in Training Future Physicians
Article Says Funding for Medical Education Research is “Conspicuously Absent”

PHILADELPHIA – Writing that “our nation’s lack of research in medical education contrasts starkly with the large and essential commitment to biomedical research funded by industry, philanthropic organizations, and the public, ” David A. Asch, MD, professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and executive director of Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation, offers recommendations for the future of medical education. The article was released online first this week in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The piece, “Innovation in Medical Education, ” coincides with the July 29 release by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of a report on the governance and financing of medical education. In its new report, produced by a committee on which Asch served, the Institute of Medicine proposes a “transformation fund” to support research and innovation in medical education as well as a governance mechanism to set research priorities and coordinate multi-institutional studies and nationwide pilot programs.

“The way we practice medicine today is completely different from the way we practiced medicine 50 years ago, ” Asch notes. “And thankfully so: Today, we have far better approaches for treating cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, and health care is delivered in different settings. But the way we train doctors today is largely unchanged. The reason for this mismatch is that we have invested in research to improve medical care, but we have not invested in research to improve the training of the doctors who will deliver that care.”

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