Graduate Medical Education Program
In seeking to position itself as a national leader in Graduate Medical Education, the College of Medicine at Charles Drew University has embarked upon the establishment of a new geographically distributed model for the clinical training of physicians. This will be accomplished through the expansion of existing partnerships and the addition of new ones that will focus on establishing academic partnerships with local hospitals, physician practices and community clinics that will provide clinical education venues for CDU medical students, physician residents and fellows.
Priorities and Estimated Timeline for New GME Program Development
The new GME program development will be accomplished in phases: Phases I and II will correspond to the required clinical clerkships for medical students. Internal Medicine and General Surgery, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, and Pediatrics. Phases III and IV will include other specialties and subspecialties in which there is a unique need in the community and in which Charles Drew University can make a significant contribution: Emergency Medicine, selected medical (Cardiovascular Disease, Gastroenterology, Nephrology and preventive Medicine, and Geriatrics) and surgical (Otolaryngology, Orthopaedics, and Ophthalmology) specialties.
When the full residency program development plan has been completed, the university expects to have established up to 16 residency programs with a total of 198 residents in training at any given time.
Background and Rationale for Graduate Medical Education
There are multiple compelling reasons for the Charles Drew University to aspire to a leadership role in graduate medical education (GME), including the following: The U.S. is facing a projected shortage of physicians in the coming decades and the magnitude of the shortage is expected to grow as the baby boomer generation ages and begins requiring more health care services. In response to the projected physician shortage, many medical schools are increasing their class size, which creates a larger pool of graduating physicians seeking GME positions.
- The current and projected future shortage of physicians is particularly acute in urban communities that often have unique public health challenges and high proportions of patients without health insurance, such as South Los Angeles.
- Ongoing support of the university’s well-established role in the education of medical students as well as the future development of a four-year medical school at Charles Drew University, requires the existence of a full educational continuum that includes GME. The effective integration of undergraduate and graduate medical education can occur most efficiently if both are operating under the sponsorship and operational oversight of the university.
- The recruitment and retention of excellent clinician-educators as faculty members of Charles Drew University depends in large part upon the university’s ability to offer a stimulating and supportive environment for faculty clinical practice. The existence of GME programs is one of the critical elements in building the clinical environment that offers the type of intellectual stimulation and practice interactions that will be attractive to the best teaching physicians.
- There is a significant body of literature that suggests that clinical quality and patient outcomes are better in teaching settings than in non-teaching settings. Therefore, the existence of GME programs will strengthen the university’s ability to serve the community and assure quality in clinical services.
For these reasons, and consistent with its mission, the Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science is committed to re-establishing high quality graduate medical education programs as soon as is feasible.
As a foundation for its GME planning efforts, the Charles Drew University adopted the “guiding principle” that all decisions on the future disposition of its GME programs should be based to the greatest extent possible on supporting the educational best interests of its medical students, residents and fellows. This, in-turn, led to the development of the following vision statement:
In partnership with affiliated hospitals and health systems, establish and maintain a robust graduate medical education enterprise of national prominence that supports the university’s mission and serves as the foundation for the education of physicians and other health care professionals who share a passion for and commitment to the care of under-served populations and the broader communities in which they reside.
Strategies for Achieving Distinction in GME
- Fulfillment of the above vision will require the leadership of the Charles Drew University, as well as its faculty and its community-based clinical partners, to embrace innovation and commit to the highest standards of educational excellence in every aspect of graduate medical education. In seeking to position itself as a national leader in GME, the Charles Drew University intends to develop new GME programs that are made distinctive through the following efforts:
- Design and implementation of an innovative and mission-oriented core curriculum that crosses all university-sponsored GME programs and goes beyond the basics of clinical education by incorporating creative educational content in urban health policy, leadership, cultural competency, critical thinking, and population-based health status, drawing upon and applying principles of public health to the well-being of the community.
- Development and implementation of a rigorous set of tools for assessing and assuring the clinical competence of all participants in university sponsored GME programs, with particular emphasis on establishing baseline clinical skills assessments at the start of each learner’s GME program, creation of individualized learning
- Programs for each GME program participant, and creation of ongoing methods for monitoring clinical performance with a goal of continuous improvement and documentation of competence upon completion of training.
- Development and implementation of a set of initiatives aimed at assuring a continuing connection between each university-sponsored GME program and the broader community served by Charles Drew University. Such initiatives could take the form of community-focused projects that utilize the principles of “service learning” to connect medical students, residents and faculty with the community or could also be built around program-specific efforts to address a particular unmet need in the community.