The Board of Regents voted at its October 27-28 meeting, to establish a College leadership program and to investigate ways to reduce student debt. They also approved a position paper on health care reform, and supported further study of key issues including hospital-acquired infections. Following are highlights of items approved at the meeting:
Leadership program. The Regents approved a proposal for a College Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) certificate program, which aims to help Members and Fellows cultivate leadership skills and expand their career opportunities.
The program will roll out over the next three years to include educational courses at Chapter and annual meetings, as well as freestanding courses; chapter mentoring events and Web-based discussion groups; and participation in events like Leadership Day and on College committees. It will kick off with a pre-course this spring entitled “Essential Competencies for the Emerging Leader.”
Governors' resolutions. The Regents approved 19 resolutions developed by the Board of Governors at its early September meeting in Annapolis. Some of these resolutions asked that the Regents:
- investigate private-public partnerships and other non-governmental sources of funding for easing the student debt of physicians entering primary care practice,
- advocate for publicly funded, service-connected medical education scholarship and debt relief,
- call for state and national oversight to monitor for a possible conflict of interest when medications are prescribed in minute clinics,
- work with the American Medical Association to establish efficiency benchmarks for health insurance companies,
- urge CMS to make sure Medicare carriers are processing physician applications in a timely and accurate way, and
- direct a committee to study the possibility of expanding Affiliate membership to include nurse practitioners who work with ACP members.
Health care reform. The Regents approved a position paper that analyzes and compares health care systems in 12 countries, and offers policy recommendations to help the U.S. achieve a better functioning health care system. Recommendations include:
- provide universal health insurance coverage, regardless of place of residence or employment status,
- create incentives to encourage patients to participate in their health care and be prudent purchasers,
- develop a national workforce policy so there is an adequate supply of healthcare workers, and
- redirect policy to support patient-centered care.
Hospital acquired infections (HAI). The College will recommend that the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research commission an evidence-based review of HAI as a quality improvement performance measure, which could eventually lead to the College developing a clinical guideline on HAI.
Resident duty hours. Along with several other medical societies, the Regents will develop recommendations about the impact of resident duty hours on the clinical and teaching responsibilities of faculty who are involved in clinical teaching.