Spotlight on Research: We Can Do Better

A Call to Action for Academic Medical Centers

10/04/16  Portland, Ore.

Medical Innovation

As public health needs change, academic medical centers (AMCs) have been slow to adapt. At OHSU Family Medicine, we believe that AMCs can, and should, better prepare future healthcare providers for the 21st century. This September, OHSU Family Medicine Chair, Jennifer E. DeVoe, MD, DPhil; Sonja Likumahuwa-Ackman, MID, MPH; Jackilen Shannon, PhD, MPH;and Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, MD, published "Creating 21st-Century Laboratories and Classrooms for Improving Population Health," a call to action to encourage AMCs to modify their model for educating providers, researching health, and caring for their communities.

The article explains that while 20th century healthcare focused primarily on the treatment of disease, and indeed uncovered new ways to treat illness, people in the United States are living increasingly shorter lives in poorer health. With all of the world's top-notch biomedical laboratories, research campuses, and medical school classrooms, what we are realizing now is that curing diseases does not necessarily lead to better population health as a whole. Now, in order to improve the health and productivity of our communities, AMCs will have to adopt missions to improve population wellbeing by improving and preventing disease. In order to transform the way they think about, and deliver health, the article outlines six primary strategies AMCs can use (read them all here).

Over the centuries, the United States has done a commendable job of building facilities to combat disease, but now is the time for a culture change, and a shift in priorities, and we at OHSU Family Medicine look forward to paving the way.

Want to read the full story? Academic Medicine published the article here.