July 13, 2007

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: How are residents included in elevate?

Answer: There are currently some 850 physicians in 70 distinct graduate medical training programs at VUMC.

Filling dual roles as trainees and paid employees, these residents and fellows occupy a unique position within our organization, and the supervision they receive differs from the reporting relationships that provide the conduit for elevate and which define VUMC's basic organizational structure. With that said, some of the elevate initiatives mesh nicely with the national emphasis on resident education, especially in the areas of professionalism and enhancing communication skills.

For the past two years an introduction to elevate has been included in both house staff orientation and the annual workshop for chief residents.

The Office of Graduate Medical Education has distributed a slide presentation to help our graduate training program directors explain elevate to house staff, including AIDET — acknowledge, introduce, duration, explain, thank — a protocol adopted for patient encounters.

The VMG executive committee has distributed a related presentation that helps department chairs explain elevate and AIDET to their faculty. House staff adoption of the patient encounter protocol and the other new work standards introduced under elevate will, to a significant degree, be subject to the example set by our faculty.

Lastly, sessions on professional conduct, ethics, and other topics directly related to elevate are included in a new series of workshops being offered this fall and winter by the graduate medical education committee, designed to sharpen the coaching skills of GME program directors.

— Tom Dina, M.D., chair, graduate medical education committee