Developing 'roadmaps' for enhancing the professional culture of medical schools

April 22, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- There is change afoot in the way medicine is being taught. Rigorous course work, state of the art laboratories and demanding clinical training are necessarily at the forefront. To complement the constant updating of the technical preparation of future physicians, a movement is growing determined to produce doctors who are not only outstanding clinicians, but who are also compassionate individuals able to communicate well with patients, their families and other caregivers.

These interpersonal qualities ideally are acquired and sustained by participation in the clinical work of the environment in which medical students become physicians. It is understood that these environments are often not conducive to producing these caring qualities and communication skills. Academic health centers can be competitive, busy and distracted environments in which everyone - faculty, support staff, trainees, and administrators - can loose track of these qualities and how important they are to patients and to sustaining professional values.

Leaders in medical education from across the country will gather at the Indiana University School of Medicine April 29 - May 1 to hone their skills as observers of organizational environments, acquire new knowledge of organizational development skills, share experiences they are encountering on their home campus, and produce roadmaps that will help them to advance their goals as educators and organizational leaders.

The IU School of Medicine is currently in its sixth year of a relationship-centered care initiative to change the culture of the school and the content of the informal curriculum, the social environment of the institution.

The nation's second largest medical school is hosting its third international conference entitled Enhancing the Professional Culture of Schools in Medicine to allow other schools to immerse themselves in its culture and to use IUSM as a "living laboratory" to explore approaches they might take to change their own cultures.

Attending Immersion III will be small teams comprised of medical educators from: Also participating will be representatives from eight of the 17 medical schools which have sent teams to one of the two previous immersion conferences:
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Immersion III is supported by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Indiana University

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