Health Professions at the Crossroads: Building a Better Normal

CE News (03/21) D'Antuono, Robert

During his keynote address at the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME) 2021 Annual Meeting, University of Miami President Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD, discussed technology, learning science, and the transformation of the healthcare labor market's implications for health education and CME/continuing professional development. He explained how COVID-19 has accelerated change in health education and cited a strong interest in "building a better normal." Frenk listed three drivers of change: advances in learning sciences, unprecedented technological innovations, and shifts in the labor market fueled by new professions created from technological advances. Special emphasis must be given to adopting instructional and institutional change, with the former resting on five educational redesign principles, including providing a broad foundational knowledge that every graduate must attain, along with cross-common competencies in critical thinking, ethical reasoning, communications, team work, and learning how to appreciate contrasting perspectives. Also needed are interdisciplinary education, engaged learning, a blended-learning format, and an integrated learning experience combining online, onsite, and fieldwork activities. Institutional reform requires the elimination of faculty resistance to change by making faculty development an imperative; more flexible capacity; and normalization of assessment and peer review tying outcomes to education interventions. Frenk also noted that providers must attract and retain minority faculty and students and incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in higher education across the reform process.

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