At a time when academic medical centers are struggling to reconcile their model of care amid the changing health care system, Kaiser Permanente announced it will be creating its own medical school.
“Opening a medical school and influencing physician education is based on our belief that the new models of care mean we must reimagine how physicians are trained,” said Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, in a news release. “Training a new generation of physicians to deliver on the promise of health and health care demonstrates our belief that our model of care is best for the current and future diverse populations in this country.”
Kaiser’s start-from-scratch approach might allow it to sidestep some of the cost and reimbursement issues facing academic medical centers and medical schools. Health care groups are tackling these issues already, including the American Medical Association, which is leading an effort to reinvent how medical education is provided. See Dan Beckham’s column on competitive advantages that academic medical centers should maintain to succeed in the future.
“Medical education needs to change to keep pace with the changing health care delivery system and changing patient needs,” said George Thibault, M.D., president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, in the release. “Kaiser Permanente is in a position to make important contributions to these changes by bringing its vast experience with teamwork, coordinated care and technology to medical education, Thibault said.
The plan is to open the school in southern California in the fall of 2019, with the effort being led by Christine Cassel, M.D., who is stepping down as president and CEO of the National Quality Forum, as of March 1.