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A Curriculum for Training Quality Scholars to Improve the Health and Health Care of Veterans and the Community at Large

Splaine, Mark E. MD, MS; Aron, David C. MD, MS; Dittus, Robert S. MD, MPH; Kiefe, Catarina I. PhD, MD; Landefeld, C. Seth MD; Rosenthal, Gary E. MD; Weeks, William B. MD, MBA; Batalden, Paul B. MD

Quality Management in Health Care: Spring 2002 - Volume 10 - Issue 3 - p 10–18
Original Article

In 1998, the Veterans Health Administration invested in the creation of the Veterans Administration National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program (VAQS) to train physicians in new ways to improve the quality of health care. We describe the curriculum for this program and the lessons learned from our experience to date. The VAQS Fellowship program has developed a core improvement curriculum to train postresidency physicians in the scholarship, research, and teaching of the improvement of health care. The curriulum covers seven domains of knowledge related to improvement: health care as a process; variation and measurement; customer/beneficiary knowledge; leading, following, and making changes in health care; collaboration; social context and accountability; and developing new, locally useful knowledge. We combine specific knowledge about the improvement of health care with the use of adult learning strategies, interactive video, and development of learner competencies. Our program provides insights for medical education to better prepare physicians to participate in and lead the improvement of health care.

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Senior Scientist for Measurement and Statistics, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire. (Splaine)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program and Director, Center for Quality Improvement Research, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. (Aron)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, Nashville Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Professor of and Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee. (Dittus)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program Professor of Medicine, Senior Scholar Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, Director, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Kiefe)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Geriatrics, UCSF, San Francisco, California. (Landefeld)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, Iowa City Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa. (Rosenthal)

Senior Scholar, Department of Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire. (Weeks)

Professor of Pediatrics and Community and Family Medicine, Director, Health Care Improvement Leadership Development, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire. (Batalden)

The opinions and findings contained herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Dartmouth Medical School, or the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.