What’s New and In the Queue for Academic Medicine

Journal revised

What’s New: A Preview of the September Issue

The September issue of Academic Medicine is now available! Read the entire issue online at academicmedicine.org. Highlights from the issue include:

Let’s Get Real About Health Care Reform
Karpf argues for an approach to health care policy that understands and accounts for the interdependence between choice, cost, and coverage in a competitive and functional market-based system.

It is Time to Cancel Medicine’s Social Contract Metaphor
Harris contends that removing medicine’s narrow, overworked social contract metaphor would open the door to a more complex, fruitful consideration of medical professionalism and medicine’s relationship with society.

Opposition to Obamacare: A Closer Look
Gordon and colleagues describe in detail their observations from a cross-country cycling trip during which they talked with locals about their opinions of the Affordable Care Act.

Interprofessional Medical–Legal Education of Medical Students: Assessing the Benefits for Addressing Social Determinants of Health
Pettignano and colleagues find that incorporating an interprofessional medical–legal curriculum may result in increased likelihood to screen patients for social determinants of health issues and to refer patients with legal needs to legal resources. A blog post related to this article is available.

Changes in Primary Care Graduate Medical Education Are Not Correlated with Indicators of Need: Are States Missing an Opportunity to Strengthen Their Primary Care Workforce?
Coutinho and colleagues argue that states should create explicit linkages between medical education and population need; strategically allocate Medicaid GME funds; and monitor the impact of workforce policies and training institution outputs.

What’s In the Queue: A Sneak Peek

Here’s a preview of an upcoming innovation report by Joanna M. Cain, MD, Marianne E. Felice, MD, Judith K. Ockene, PhD, Med, MA, Robert J. Milner, PhD, John L. Congdon, Stephen Tosi, MD, and Luanne E. Thorndyke, MD.

Meeting the Late-Career Needs of Faculty Transitioning Through Retirement: One Institution’s Approach



Medical school faculty are aging, but few academic health centers are adequately prepared with policies, programs, and resources (PPR) to assist late-career faculty. The authors sought to examine cultural barriers to successful retirement and create alignment between individual and institutional needs and tasks through PPR that embrace the contributions of senior faculty while enabling retirement transitions at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2013–2017.


Faculty 50 or older were surveyed, programs at other institutions and from the literature (multiple fields) were reviewed, and senior faculty and leaders, including retired faculty, were engaged to develop and implement PPR. Cultural barriers were found to be significant, and a multipronged, multiyear strategy to address these barriers, which sequentially added PPR to support faculty, was put in place. A comprehensive framework of sequenced PPR was developed to address the needs and tasks of late-career transitions within three distinct phases: pre-retirement, retirement, and post-retirement.


This sequential introduction approach has led to important outcomes for all three of the retirement phases, including reduction of cultural barriers, a policy that has been useful in assessing viability of proposed phased retirement plans, transparent and realistic discussions about financial issues, and consideration of roles that retired faculty can provide.

Next Steps

The authors are tracking the issues mentioned in consultations and efficacy of succession planning, and will be resurveying faculty to further refine their work. This framework approach could serve as a template for other academic health centers to address late-career faculty development.

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