On the road: Dean Richardson talks reform at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University


Dean Richardson recently presented invited lectures at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University titled “The Confluence of Health Care Reform and Medical Education: What does society need from the 21st century physician?”

Faculty at both institutions shared a particular interest in the partnership between OHSU and the state of Oregon on reform issues, including the evolution of Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations and the role of OHSU within these 15 care delivery entities based around the state.

“While this delivery model is still evolving, faculty at both institutions saw the significant transformational potential in this new model and its future applicability beyond the Medicaid population,” he said. “More broadly, my impression was that both OHSU and Oregon are increasingly seen as culturally capable of adaption in ways that have a greater probability of resulting in a genuine transformation across all our missions.”

He noted that the state’s relatively small population size, the fact that there is only one academic health center – and one that has embraced partnerships as a strategic goal – combined with a history of progressiveness on health care initiatives and the accompanying tolerance for change, are unique Oregon attributes that are “taking on a greater importance in the context of the systemic change now underway.”

At each of the two campus visits, Dean Richardson had a full schedule of meetings with leaders across the education, clinical care and research spectrum.

“There was a great deal of interest in our M.D. education transformation process, as well as our Faculty Support Initiative, in particular as it’s playing out for researchers in light of federal funding shifts,” he said, adding that mutual interest in the organization of and funding for graduate studies programs also catalyzed discussion.

Across all interactions, the competency-based aspect of OHSU’s M.D. Curriculum Transformation was a focal point – in leadership meetings, at the lecture and subsequent Q&A. Pragmatically, the potential for shortening medical school for incoming students with significant experience or education in either health care or science was seen as a big plus – not only for individuals but as a means of more effectively meeting society’s health and science workforce needs.

“I was impressed by the commitment to excellence at both institutions. Such face-to-face meetings provide great opportunities for medical schools to learn from one another,” he said. “But each time I make these types of visits, I always also come away with a renewed sense of the extraordinary trajectory we are on at OHSU.”

Pictured above (l to r): Dr. Nasir Bhatti, associate professor, Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery; Dr. David Eisele, professor and director, Johns Hopkins OHNS; Dr. Paul Rothman, Dean of Medicine, Johns Hopkins; Dr. Charles Cummings, professor and former director, Johns Hopkins OHNS; OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson

Note: At Johns Hopkins, Dean Richardson presented the Charles W. Cummings, M.D. Endowed Lecture. Both lectures were open to faculty, students and staff.