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Health Systems Science

Health Systems Science is Principles, methods, and practice of improving quality, outcomes, and costs of healthcare delivery for patients and populations within a system of medical care. It includes the factors that impact health outcomes beyond the basic and clinical sciences.

Health Systems content is critical in training students to be physicians and to shape the healthcare system to be one that address a three-part problem: (1) poor quality of healthcare outcomes, (2) poor value in the healthcare system, and (3) unacceptable healthcare disparities. Integrating this content with the other elements of the SOM curriculum will be a central way that the SOM achieves its mission and vision.

To be effective physicians and leaders in the current and future landscape, our students will need the knowledge and skill set that they will achieve through this longitudinal content area. Our graduates will understand all the aspects of a system, how systems operate, and how to set up structures and drivers in systems to truly get the health outcomes we want.

Within Phase 1, the learning objectives, teaching activities and materials created within this team will be integrated into both the Sciences/Skills/Reasoning courses as well as the Human Dimension. The content learned in Phase 1 will be built upon in the Phase 2 curriculum as well.

Health Systems content is divided into three areas:

1. Structure and Function of Healthcare Systems

Students will learn how healthcare systems and systems that affect health are structured; how they work; and what the drivers in a system are.  This includes Health policy and financing, health law, medical ethics, healthcare disparities, and the Determinants of Health.

2. Information and Data

Students will learn how to understand, use, and generate information and data.  This will include training in Epidemiology and biostatistics, Evidence-based Medicine/Information Mastery, and research methods.

3. Systems-based Practice

In this area, students will integrate much of what they have learned in the prior two areas to think about the practice of medicine and the promotion of health (or disease) as occurring within a system.  Students will learn and analyze what those systems are, and how can they be created to promote health (or disease) for all.

This will include Public Health, Population Health, Quality Improvement, and technology in medicine. Interprofessional education and practice as well as systems science will be included in this area.

 

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