Our Priorities

We must ensure health professionals are equipped to meet contemporary health needs and work effectively within today’s health care environment.

At the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, to achieve this aim we foster innovation in health professional education through investments in five areas:

Interprofessional education and teamwork

We have strong evidence that health care delivered by well-functioning teams leads to better outcomes, but we still too often educate our health professionals in silos. We need more planned and rigorous interprofessional education that links directly to ensuring optimal health for patients and communities.

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New curriculum content

Being a doctor, nurse, or other health professional is a different job than it was in past decades. We need to broaden and integrate our curriculum across the educational continuum to include newer content focusing on patient safety, quality improvement, health systems science, population health and other emerging areas.

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New models for clinical education

Innovative models in clinical education will disrupt the traditional episodic, disease oriented, hospital-based teaching model. Keeping patients healthy and managing chronic diseases over time, primarily in outpatient or community-based settings, is the predominant work of health care professionals today. We need new sites and longitudinal models for clinical education and training.

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Care for underserved communities

Some of the most vulnerable people in society are not receiving the care they need, exacerbating health disparities. We need to provide health professionals with training and incentives that support and promote care that meets the needs of underserved communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, low-income patients, and those in rural and inner city communities.

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Career development in health professions education

Efforts to reform health professions education cannot succeed unless we also invest in our educators—the academic leaders and innovators who will drive this change. We must nurture the next generation of national leaders in health professions education and ensure diversity among our educators while continually striving to the highest levels of excellence.

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