Category Archives: Practice guidelines

Oct 21 2014

Getting Medical Residents Ready for Real Life

New guidelines from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) are intended to close the gap between expectations and the reality of what medical students are prepared to do at the start of their residencies.

Known as the Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency, the guidelines include 13 activities—such as performing physical exams, forming clinical questions, and handing off patients to other physicians when residents go off duty—that all medical students should be able to perform, regardless of specialty, in order to be better prepared for their roles as clinicians. In August, AAMC launched a five-year implementation pilot with 10 institutions.

Ensuring that the nation’s medical school graduates “have the confidence to perform these activities is critical for clinical quality and safety,” AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in a news release earlier this year. “These guidelines take medical education from the theoretical to the practical as students think about some of the real-life professional activities they will be performing as physicians.”

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Jan 28 2014

Enhancing Safety of Hospital Workers Is Aim of New Federal Website

U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2012, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and workers’ compensation expenses now reach $2 billion annually for hospitals. Lifting and moving patients, workplace violence, slips and falls, exposure to chemicals and hazardous drugs, exposure to infectious diseases, and needlesticks are among the serious hazards hospital workers face.

Fact books, self-assessments, and best practice guides are among the materials OSHA has assembled in a new Web resource,, designed to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems.

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Feb 22 2012

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to Include More Than Science

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) last week announced forthcoming changes to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Mindful of the changing skillset that practitioners need to meet the demands of the job, the AAMC said that, beginning in 2015, the MCAT will test students’ reasoning and social science skills.

“Being a good doctor isn't just about understanding science: it's about understanding people,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer of AAMC, said at a news conference announcing the changes.

Two new sections will be added to the test: Psychological, Sociological and Biological Foundations of Behavior; and Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills. These sections will assess applicants’ perceptions and reactions to the world, understanding of population health and cross-cultural studies, and ethical and scientific reasoning skills.

Officials hope the expanded scope of the test will encourage students from a wide range of disciplines to consider medical school, the Los Angeles Times Booster Shots blog reports, and will lead to a more diverse medical workforce that is better prepared to deal with a changing patient population.

What do you think? Does the new MCAT test align with skills physicians will need in the future? Are there other subjects that also should be tested? Register below to leave a comment.