What’s New and In the Queue for Academic Medicine

What’s New: A Preview of the January Issue

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

A Free-Market Approach to the Match: A Proposal Whose Time Has Not Yet Come
Arnold and colleagues respond to Ray and colleagues’ proposal for a free-market approach to the Match, examining the reasons given and exploring the implications and likelihood of success.

Teaching the Social Determinants of Health: A Path to Equity or a Road to Nowhere?
The link between teaching about social determinants of health and seeing future physicians act to improve health equity is questioned. Sharma and colleagues advocate structural/cultural transformation for social responsibility.

Recruiting American Indian/Alaska Native Students to Medical School: A Multi-Institutional Alliance in the U.S. Southwest
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals have the least representation in the physician workforce. Ballejos and colleagues describe an annual two-day pre-admissions workshop to prepare AI/AN students for applying to medical school.

Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Patient Experiences at a Family Medicine Clinic
Hinrichs and colleagues find that interviews with patients who are transgender or gender nonconforming reveal a great need for culturally competent, respectful, patient-centered care—both for primary care and gender-related health issues.

The Road to Rural Primary Care: A Narrative Review of Factors that Help Develop, Recruit, and Retain Rural Primary Care Physicians
Parlier and colleagues conduct a narrative review of literature on individual, educational, and professional characteristics and experiences that lead to the development, recruitment, and retention of rural primary care physicians.

What’s In the Queue: A Sneak Peek

Here’s a preview of an upcoming Invited Commentary by Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD, and C. Donald Combs, PhD

Medical Education Must Move from the Information Age to the Age of Artificial Intelligence


Changes to the medical profession require medical education reforms that will enable physicians to more effectively enter contemporary practice. Proposals for such reforms abound. Common themes include renewed emphasis on communication, teamwork, risk-management, and patient safety. These reforms are important but insufficient. They do not adequately address the most fundamental change–the practice of medicine is rapidly transitioning from the information age to the age of artificial intelligence. Employers need physicians who: work at the top of their license, have knowledge spanning the health professions and care continuum, effectively leverage data platforms, focus on analyzing outcomes and improving performance, and communicate the meaning of the probabilities generated by massive amounts of data to patients given their unique human complexities.

Future medical practice will have four characteristics that must be addressed in medical education: care will be (1) provided in many locations; (2) provided by newly-constituted health care teams; and (3) based on a growing array of data from multiple sources and artificial intelligence applications; and (4) the interface between medicine and machines will need to be skillfully managed. Thus, medical education must make better use of the findings of cognitive psychology, pay more attention to the alignment of humans and machines in education, and increase the use of simulations. Medical education will need to evolve to include systematic curricular attention to the organization of professional effort among health professionals, the use of intelligence tools like machine learning and robots, and a relentless focus on improving performance and patient outcomes.

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