November 12, 2004

VUMC takes active role at AAMC meet

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Lynette Gillis, M.D.

VUMC takes active role at AAMC meet

BOSTON — Vanderbilt University School of Medicine had a strong showing at this year's meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as faculty members and administrators were in Boston Nov. 5-10 to present key Vanderbilt programs to the medical leaders gathered.

Rhea Seddon, M.D., kicked off Vanderbilt's involvement Saturday, Nov. 6, by leading a breakout session during a vice president for Medical Affairs forum. Seddon presented the Medical Center's key safety improvement initiative, Crew Resource Management.

“We believe safety is the cornerstone of quality,” she told the group. “And one of the ways we can improve safety is by learning from other high-reliability systems.”

Seddon explained how Vanderbilt has sent more than 1,700 faculty and staff members through the training, which is based on aviation practices

Since Crew Resource Management was instituted, there have been no wrong surgeries for 500 days. Prior to the program there was an average of about on wrong surgery every 60 days, according to Seddon.

One attendee told the group that Vanderbilt had recruited one of her institution's faculty members into a full-time research position examining clinical improvement.

“I think it's important that we recognize that dedication to improvement, and the willingness to devote a faculty member to working full time on improvement,” she said.

That evening, Vanderbilt was highly visible at the awards reception, where faculty member Art Dalley, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, received one of the Alpha Omega Alpha's top national teaching awards. Vanderbilt received further mention in the program, and a Vanderbilt alumnus also garnered a teaching award.

Other School of Medicine graduates gathered Sunday evening for a reunion of local alumni and faculty members attending the meeting.

“Now that you've shown them how we do it at Vanderbilt, you're welcome back anytime,” Steven G. Gabbe, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine told the graduates. “We'd love to have you back.”

The annual meeting sessions, which focused on quality improvement, faculty vitality, professionalism and curriculum reform along with many other improvement topics, provided educators with broad goals and practical methods for creating change in their own institutions.

John Bingham, M.H.A., director of Clinical Improvement, and Doris Quinn, Ph.D., director of Improving Education, presented one practical means to improving the outcomes of care. They introduced the Healthcare Matrix, which links the ACGME Core Competencies and the Institutes of Medicine's Aims for Improvement to measure the quality of care clinicians deliver.

After fielding questions from the audience, Quinn invited those present to leave their business cards to be e-mailed the file containing the Healthcare Matrix, and the majority of the attendees stepped forward.

Bonnie Miller, M.D., associate dean for Medical Students and Gerald Gotterer, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for Faculty and Academic Administrative Affairs, led a workshop titled “Professionalism in Medical Education: Curricular Change or Cultural Change?” on Wednesday, the last day of the meeting.

“We're presenting an approach that worked for Vanderbilt during our curriculum retreat,” Gotterer said.

Miller and Gotterer helped approximately 35 attendees define the culture of medicine, understand the aspects of professionalism, identify the barriers to instituting change, and apply what they've learned to initiate change in their own academic institutions.