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New @ 2011 AMSA National Convention: Thought Leaders Series

Katherine Ellington
Vice President-Elect, Program Development
National Chair,Wellness & Student Life Committee
St. George's University School of Medicine

A few months ago, I had a conversation with Dr. Matthew Stull, AMSA National Education & Research Fellow about new programming during convention. He discussed the vision for a new “New Thought Leaders” series of talks to provide more opportunity to hear from a broader range of leading voices within the profession of medicine.

The new “Thought Leaders” series included 3 sessions held on Friday morning. The first featured Dr. James Prescott, chief academic officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which carries a mission to serve and lead the academic medical to improve health care for all. Dr. Prescott is enabling the AAMC dialogue to help the profession of medicine rethink approaches to the medical education continuum. He acknowledges a new era of transformation in medical education as well as the complexity of our changing health system, which also affords new opportunities (e.g. new medical schools). The commitment to embrace quality and excellence stands unchanged, consider the core competencies for every physician:

Patient care that is compassionate, appropriate,and effective
Medical knowledge
Practice-based learning and improvement
Interpersonal and communication skills
Systems-based practice

Dr. David Nash, the new Founding Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University provided a conversation from his decades of experience in quality-of-care improvement and outcomes management. He also discussed his new book, Demand Better: Fix Our Broken Healthcare System (2011). Dr. Nash’s blog offers rich discussion on health policy. 

Gloria A. Wilder, M.D., M.P.H. Inductee, Gold Humanism In Medicine Honor Society & Founder, Core Health LLC practices“street doc” medicine and mobile patient care. She offered discussion on five components driving health:

1- Access to quality healthcare

2- Access to quality education

3- Fair economic opportunity

4- Environmental justice

5- Access to an unbiased legal system

Dr. Wilder is well-known for her real talk, pushing us to think about the interplay between our environment and health. For example, a situation where a child continues to return to the doctor with episodes respiratory distress needs more care than a new prescription for albuterol, it's time for a home visit, if the child lives in poor housing conditions (e.g. mold, poor ventilation) changes need to be addressed before any medicine can be effective.

special thanks for notes on Dr. Wilder’s talk from Kimberly Fe'Lix Kimes,
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Premedical Regional Director- Region V
Premedical Trustee-Elect

The Thought Leaders series was sponsored in part by The New England Journal of Medicine

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