In the AAMCNews: “Humanism Increasingly Important in a Changing Health Care Landscape”

Dr. Richard Levin

Dr. Richard Levin

The AAMCNews published two important pieces on August, 29, 2017, that highlight the challenges of healthcare today and the crucial role of humanism in the path ahead.

In “Humanism Increasingly Important in a Changing Health Care Landscape,”  Richard I. Levin, MD, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation President and CEO, details the heightened importance of humanism in today’s healthcare and how the Gold Foundation is broadening its mission to meet those urgent needs. Read an excerpt below or read the full article by Dr. Levin here:

“This crucial time demands more. Our national effort called the Gold Community of Caring embraces the entire health care team, including researchers, nurses, physician assistants, administrators, and hospital staff, with patients and their families at the center.

In addition to helping our colleagues maintain humanism, we are advancing the scholarship of humanism in medicine. The Gold Foundation Research Institute (RI), launched in 2012, has led to a community of more than 300 researchers who are focused on restoring the human connection in health care. Led by Elizabeth Gaufberg, MD, MPH, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the RI is helping researchers accelerate discovery in humanism in health care, disseminate findings, and use those findings to make change through grants and partnerships.

Such research can make an important difference for the whole health care team and help us develop evidence-based best practices to advance humanism. For example, a research team led by Wei Wei Lee, MD, MPH, of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine has been studying patient-centered use of the EMR. This RI-supported research can guide efforts that encourage physicians to use the computer as a tool to facilitate, instead of allowing it to hinder, communication with their patients.

These tumultuous times require change, and the Gold Foundation is evolving quickly and broadly to help medical schools and teaching hospitals meet the rising need for more attention to humanism. As my colleague AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, recently said, the Gold Foundation “has been devoted to safeguarding humanism within health professions education. As technology becomes more complex and scientific advancement accelerates, the Gold Foundation is an increasingly vital partner in ensuring the patient remains at the center of medicine.” Continue reading …

In “Building a Framework for Clinician Well-Being and Resilience,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO, examines the growing national awareness that the epidemic of burnout, as well as depression and suicide, in healthcare, and how medical schools and teaching hospitals are addressing this crisis. And as solutions emerge, the humanistic calling of the practice of medicine should be reinvigorated, too. An excerpt:

“I believe that the current movement to improve clinician wellness and resilience is akin to the revolutions in patient safety and quality at the turn of the 21st century. When what was then the Institute of Medicine began seriously studying the issue of quality in health care, our community moved from denying the problem, to accepting the facts, to taking action—action that has dramatically improved care in this country. I believe that the focus on clinician well-being by the NAM can have the same transformative effect on health care professionals and their ability to care for our patients. Through this transformation, we will rediscover our connections to our colleagues, to our patients, and to the meaning in our work.” Read the full article by Dr. Kirch here.