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Vanderbilt hosts National Transformation Network to discuss “Triple Aim” of medical education

Jun. 21, 2018, 8:30 AM

Members from the National Transformation Network met at Vanderbilt last week. From left to right: VUSM’s Bonnie Miller, MD, MMHC, and partner schools’ Christie Siebert, MD, Sue Cox, MD, Cheryl Maurana, PhD (Founding Director of the Kern Institute), Catherine Lucey, MD, Stephanie Starr, MD, and Greg Ogrinc, MD. (photo by Steve Green)

In March 2017, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine was chosen to join the National Transformation Network (NTN) of the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education.

The NTN is a collaborative of seven medical schools that seeks to transform medical education by focusing on its “Triple Aim” — character, caring and competence. These elements of physician development are considered critical for delivering compassionate, evidence-based care to patients, families and communities.

Supported by a generous grant from the Kern Family Foundation, each partner school will receive $2.1 million over six years to carry out projects at the level of the individual schools, the network itself, and the larger national medical education community.

The NTN met at Vanderbilt on June 14-15 for its semi-annual in-person meeting. Representatives from the Kern Institute attended the meeting along with members from Vanderbilt and the other partner schools: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine, University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Medical College of Wisconsin, academic home of the Kern Institute.

The NTN spent much of its time discussing a definition and a conceptual framework for the importance of character in medicine. Member schools also shared ideas for elaborating these important concepts within the curriculum. In addition, member schools approved a proposal for a collaborative project aimed at measuring and improving aspects of the learning environment.

The group attended a noontime Flexner Dean’s Lecture presented by Larry Churchill, PhD, professor emeritus and former Ann Geddes Stahlman Chair in Medical Ethics. Churchill spoke on “What Moral Knowledge is Essential to Doctoring? Reflections on Character, Virtues, and the Aims of Medical Education.” Open to all VUMS faculty, staff and students, the lecture illustrated the importance of the NTN’s efforts.

In the near future, the NTN will host a series of three webinars in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges, one on each aspect of the Triple Aim. VUSM’s team will lead the webinar on Practices of Care. Additionally VUSM’s team will host an interactive Medical Education Ground Rounds in September that will present the NTN’s definition of character, with a goal of generating a rich and reflective discussion.

“This meeting was a great opportunity to highlight the NTN’s work to the larger Vanderbilt community,” said Bonnie Miller MD, MMHC, VUSM’s NTN team leader. “This collaborative has pushed us to consider the most important attributes of deeply caring physicians, as well as the environment that allows those attributes to thrive. Our ultimate goal is to nurture a generation of physicians committed to the ideal of human flourishing.”

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