ORR 2012 Preview: The Resident Voice in Academic Medicine

By Jonathan Amiel, MD

On Thursday, residents and faculty representing the major professional societies in academic medicine will gather in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for four days of joint meetings. The Organization of Resident Representatives (ORR) and the Council of Academic Societies (CAS), two affinity groups of the Association of American Medical Colleges, have a long tradition of hosting their spring meetings together. In a way, the joint meeting symbolizes what the AAMC is all about – bringing together physicians across a variety of specialties, practice settings, and levels of training to think critically about improving healthcare for all.

The ORR was established in 1991 and is a lively group that works to improve resident physician education and training. The group presents a terrific opportunity for residents to step outside of their everyday training to broaden their own perspectives on academic medicine and to share them to inform the rest of the AAMC’s work, residing as they do at the interface of clinical care, education, and research. We also present an annual award to recognize a resident who has made a major impact on the local community around his or her training institution.

Over the years, the ORR has focused on a range of important issues in medical training, including the future of academic medicine in the context of healthcare reform, faculty transitions, careers in medicine, healthcare workforce forecasting, the training practice gap, inter-professional education and collaborative practice, and the integration of healthcare delivery technological advances with learner experiences in the patient care setting. As residency programs have changed in the evolving redesign of graduate medical education, the ORR has also been vigorously discussing the effect of new duty hour and supervision regulations on residents’ educational experiences.

In Santa Fe, ORR members will meet to discuss health policy, reactions to the implementation of the 2011 Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education duty hours standards, the emerging role of “night education” in residency training, social determinants of health in rural settings and their influence on health systems, the role of advocacy in the physician identity, and career paths for academic physicians. We will also work closely with the CAS to think about the role of experiential learning in graduate and continuing medical education.

Of course, one of the highlights of the meeting is that we ORR members get to spend time getting to know one another outside of the hospital, and meeting our sponsors in the CAS to build a community of physicians who are dedicated to the mission of academic medicine. This opportunity to recharge and widen our horizons to the broad issues we face in our careers is priceless. You can find more information about the ORR here.

—Jonathan Amiel, MD, is Assistant Dean for Curricular Affairs at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Chair of the Organization of Resident Representatives at the Association of American Medical Colleges. He can be reached at jma2106@columbia.edu. Follow the ORR on Twitter @AAMC_ORR.