Preparing the clinicians of tomorrow

Systems-based approach to integrate graduate medical education

The Institute’s Office of Health Professional Education is co-designing a graduate health professional education strategy with HealthPartners operational leaders. A recent inventory revealed a disjointed system of high-quality programs housed in individual operational units.

This was based on historical precedents with little input from care delivery and health plan partners. In addition, advanced practice nurse and physician assistant learners are trained in a non-integrated fashion.

Creation of working teams

The team created working groups to learn together and generate questions and ideas about a new design. The groups, focused on people, quality, experience and finance, began their work in 2016.

The groups quickly identified the change in focus in graduate medical education from knowledge-based to competency-based.

Development of HealthPartners practice-ready competencies

The groups researched important clinician competencies, discussed application at HealthPartners and recommended developing competencies for HealthPartners’ graduate education programs.

These competencies, assessment techniques to evaluate them, and faculty development efforts to teach them will be further defined and assessed. The practice-ready competencies are:

  • Communication skills
  • Patient- and family-centered care
  • Relationship skills
  • Team work
  • Resilience
  • Knowledge for health care costs

Next steps

Next is the evaluation of HealthPartners’ clinical learning environment for its role in ensuring that clinicians are proficient in the practice-ready competencies. Groups will also investigate HealthPartners’ desired workforce model, current workforce gap and strategic role of graduate medical education in recruiting and preparing the future workforce.

The costs and benefits of graduate medical education will also be outlined as an initial step toward determining a sustainable financial model for the system design.

Visit to view an archive of the system design work.