Teaching Health Policy to Residents—Three-Year Experience with a Multi-Specialty Curriculum
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Most residents have limited education or exposure to health policy during residency.
We developed a course to (1) educate residents on health policy topics applicable to daily physician practice; (2) expose residents to health policy careers through visits with policy makers and analysts; (3) promote personal engagement in health policy.
Residents registered for a 3-week elective offered twice annually through the George Washington University Department of Health Policy.
The course format includes: daily required readings and small-group seminars with policy experts, interactive on-site visits with policy makers, and final team presentations to senior faculty on topical health policy issues.
One hundred thirty residents from 14 specialties have completed the course to date. Seventy completed our post-course survey. Most participants [59 (84%)] felt the course was very or extremely helpful. Participant self-ratings increased from pre- to post-course in overall knowledge of health policy [2 (3%) good or excellent before, 58 (83%) after], likelihood of teaching policy concepts to peers [20 (25%) vs. 62 (86%)], and likelihood of pursuing further health policy training [28 (37%) vs. 56 (82%)].
This 3-week elective in health policy improves self-reported knowledge and interest in health policy research, advocacy, and teaching.
KEY WORDShealth policy residency education curriculum medical education
Preliminary findings (at 18 months experience) were presented as a poster at the Educational Innovations Session of the 2007 Society for General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada. The authors thank Karen Jones, GWU Senior Research Scientist, for assistance with statistical analyses. The GW Residency Fellowship in Health Policy is supported in part by a generous gift from the late Harold and Jane Hirsh to the Department of Health Policy and GWU Medical Center.
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