Preparing the Next Generation of Family Physicians to Improve Population Health: A CERA Study.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Family medicine leaders cite population health as a key tenet in the strategic plan outlining family medicine's role in improving America's health. Yet little is known about current practice in training family physicians in this area. This study describes the current practice and teaching of community medicine and population health in family medicine residency programs to support the broader goal of preparing the next generation of family physicians to deliver comprehensive primary care while improving population health. METHODS: Questions were added to the 2013 Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance (CERA) program directors (PD) survey detailing current teaching practices and identifying self-rated exemplary programs. Multivariate logistic regression models were built to predict program strength. RESULTS: A quarter of responding PDs (n=56) self-rate the strength of their community medicine curriculum; they are more likely to: have a faculty champion, have strong public health partnerships, teach community-oriented primary care well, and tend to serve densely populated regions (>500K). PDs ranked "knowledge and use of community resources" (n=142, 63%) and "teamwork" (n=127, 57%) as areas of community medicine taught best and research/evaluation (n=120, 54%) and population health (n=105, 47%) as areas not taught well. Resident/faculty time are cited as barriers to curricular success (n=144, 64% and n=134, 60%). CONCLUSIONS: Family medicine is well poised to take leadership in the teaching and practice of population health. Yet improvements are still needed and may be supported by dedicated time for faculty/residents, development of faculty champions, and targeted training in rural and suburban areas.
Vickery, KD; Rindfleisch, K; Benson, J; Furlong, J; Martinez-Bianchi, V; Richardson, CR
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