In the past, hospitals and health care systems might have paid scant attention to what was happening in medical schools. But these days, with renewed focus on population health and improving the continuum of care, it is more important for hospital leaders to work hand-in-hand with academic leaders, says Ryan Leslie, vice president of academics and research at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, the new teaching hospital for Dell medical students. “These changes are so big; they can’t be done in a single year — it takes a lot.”

Past literature suggests just one of five doctors currently has training in the social determinants of health, notes Jay Bhatt, D.O., chief medical officer of the American Hospital Association and president and CEO of the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust. And while hospitals are teaching physicians to work better with community partners, more training is needed. “Hospitals and health systems can really be a living lab in terms of being able to test approaches,” Bhatt says.

The AHA’s Physician Leadership Forum is expanding educational tools to help doctors develop and improve leadership and management skills. Its Physician Inclusion agenda will focus on strategies for leadership, resilience and well-being and improving delivery of high-value care and managing populations. For more information, visit