Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The information is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. Annals of Internal Medicine attribution is required for all coverage.
Patients and families should be included in the training environment not only as the recipients of care, but also as teachers and evaluators of residents and students, according to a new commentary being published in Annals of Internal Medicine (http://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M13-2993). “Patients and families can provide invaluable insights and perspectives for changing and improving physician training programs,” says lead author Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FACP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American College of Physicians, the nation’s largest medical specialty organization and second-largest physician group. Partnering with patients and families has been recognized as an essential component of high value health care, a key initiative for ACP and many other medical organizations. However, the system of medical education has been slow to embrace this partnership. Dr. Weinberger’s co-authors, Beverley H. Johnson, BSN, president of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and Debra L. Ness, MS, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, agree that transforming physician training programs to incorporate a patient- and family-centered component will take work. Conversion will require acknowledging the issue, enacting a cultural change, and designing and implementing an action plan. Physicians can start by following established guidelines for promoting active participation of patients and families into their medical care. The needs, preferences, goals, and concerns of patients should also be included in clinical and educational discussions and in office notes. “This potentially represents a revolution in our approach to medical education,” the authors write, “but it is certainly one that is worth addressing if we are to best meet the needs of patients and families.”