Background/significance: As U.S. health care transforms, so too has the vision for medical education. Numerous publications and task force reports have called for radical reforms in medical education driven by a standardized set of core competencies identified through an analysis of physician roles and tasks. The challenge currently facing medical education is that currently the cross-cutting core competencies (e.g., performance roles and tasks) essential for our physician workforce in 2020 has not been articulated, limiting our ability to design today’s training and performance-based assessments systems.
Purpose: To delineate the most likely roles/responsibilities and relative emphases for 2020 physicians to inform design, delivery and assessment of physician performance and medical education programs consistent with our future health care workforce needs.
Methods: The inter-dependency of organization, financial, and regulatory relationships guiding on today’s health care transformation requires input from multiple stakeholder perspectives (e.g., health care systems leaders, medical school deans, medical education leaders) on future roles/responsibilities of physicians. A key informant methodology was selected using semi-structured protocol to obtain key stakeholder perspectives. Local and national sector informants were identified and contacted to discuss their perspectives (1-on-1 or small groups) re: “What are the most likely physician roles/responsibilities for the 2020 physician?” Consistent with constant comparative qualitative analysis methodology, the first set of 10 interviews have been completed and themes identified.
Results: Informants hold leadership positions in medical education, academic medicine and/or health care systems. The four most common role/responsibility themes emerging from analysis include the ability to: (1) work on inter-professional teams; (2) align with health system priorities (i.e., provide care in population based payment structure; (3) manage and adapt to complexity and change (including technology, continuous quality improvement); and (4) communicate well (i.e. professionalism) and provide corrective feedback to assure patient quality/safety. Conclusion: Theme consistency across informant sectors requires significant redesign of our medical education programs to prepare the physician workforce for 2020 practice roles and responsibilities. Additional interviews will be used to affirm findings and identify specific implications for medical education redesign.