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OHSU Family Medicine To Oversee National Physician Training Reform

Fourteen family residency programs nationwide will participate in a new initiative to rethink the way family physicians are trained

Oregon Health & Science University Department of Family Medicine has been selected to measure the overall effectiveness of a new initiative aimed at redesigning the way family physicians are trained nationwide.

The initiative, dubbed P4, which stands for Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice, is sponsored through a $1.7 million grant from the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, and the American Board of Family Medicine, in collaboration with TransforMED, an American Academy of Family Physicians practice redesign initiative that will administer the project.

Fourteen family residency programs from around the country were chosen to participate in P4. Each will devise individual training and strategy approaches to help budding family physicians elevate patient care and satisfaction to build a “personal medical home” where patients experience seamless, coordinated care.

"OHSU’s role in P4 will be to develop a common template of measures by which to evaluate all of the programs in the project. Through this template, we will determine the overall impact of the restructuring, a special challenge because of the rigorous nature of the research and analytic methods required,” said John Saultz, M.D., professor and chairman of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. Saultz and Patricia Carney, Ph.D., OHSU research director of family medicine, will provide faculty development to each of the programs to help them to design and implement their own evaluation processes for their projects.

The P4 residencies will hold their first joint meeting in May 2007 to fine-tune their proposed innovations, make any necessary adjustments and prepare to move forward. Contingent upon adequate funding and organizational support, they will spend the next five years developing, implementing and testing their innovations, and sharing the results with the medical community.

P4 has the potential to inspire considerable changes in the content and structure of family medicine training. Findings from the project are expected to guide future revisions in accreditation and content to ensure America’s future family doctors are proficient in using the most up-to-date tools and technologies to meet the growing demands of health care consumers.

“The model OHSU will undertake includes the development of learner groups that can be studied into the future, so that the impact of these proposed educational innovations can be fully understood,” said Carney.

For a complete list of residency programs participating in the P4 initiative, visit:

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In 2006 U.S. News & World Report ranked OHSU’s Department of Family Medicine second among the nation's top medical schools.

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