Geisinger residency training programs awarded grant to promote a more equitable health care system
Thomas W. Davis, M.D., Medicine/Pediatrics Residency program director, said the grant will be used to develop a unique diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training thread in the resident training programs for internal medicine in the northeast and for the internal medicine and medicine/pediatrics programs in Danville. Involving more than 100 residents and a wealth of data, the goal is to improve care quality metrics for minority and LGBTQ patients who visit the resident clinics.
“We want to be certain our residents are getting complete training and that includes the skills necessary to care for all patient populations,” Dr. Davis said. “Minority and LQBTQ populations are growing across our system, especially in the northeast. Our residents need to be aware of their unique health needs.”
The training being rolled out this month takes a twofold approach, he said. First, it will focus on sharing a national perspective with the residents. Using multimedia sessions, including TED Talks and other lectures by prominent international leaders, residents will get the big picture about the state of DEI in medicine and have the opportunity to discuss it in small groups. Next, learners will apply those lessons to the local population and will use Geisinger-specific data to track and change their own behavior.
“We’ll look at our Cerner and our Epic data to determine how good we are at providing quality care,” Dr. Davis said. “So, our residents will see the national data but will also examine their own metrics so they can ask, ‘How can I make a difference? How will I change my practice?’ We’ll end the training with sessions with standardized patients representing the LGBTQ community, where residents can grow comfortable with asking about pronouns and obtaining an accurate history to determine appropriate screening. It’s about building trust and long-term relationships.”
The hope is to build a sustainable training program and expand it to other specialties. “We want to branch out to surgery, OB/GYN, family practice and really see it take off and improve our metrics,” he said. “We want everyone to feel comfortable here and receive quality care so we can grow our system in right direction.”
Quality metrics to be tracked include things like colonoscopy screening, mammograms, A1c levels, hypertension and measures for diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. “We are talking to the informatics team now for help in breaking the data down to generate an individual resident’s quality report card,” said Dr. Davis. “It will be easy to access and available daily for them to check their progress. We’ll say, ‘Let’s look at your quality metric data and see — have you grown your minority population patient base? Are you making better health easier by stripping away some of the anxiety that comes with a doctor visit?’ We want to make a big difference for these patients, so they tell everyone what great care they receive at Geisinger. That’s how we’ll strengthen the health of our local communities.”
About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Atlantic City, Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of master’s degree programs. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit geisinger.edu/gcsom.
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