How to Train Health Professionals for the Managed Care Era

The Sixth Congress of Health Professions Educators

The Association of Academic Health Centers hosted the Sixth Congress of Health Professions Educators, June 7–8, 1999, in Washington, D.C. and the Seventh Congress, June 8–9, 2000, also in Washington, D.C.

The Congress explores both interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration among health professions educators and the role of the academic health center in its community.

The sponsor, the Association of Academic Health Centers (AHC), is a national, non-profit organization of academic health centers, the primary training sites for the US health-care work force.

Annual congresses held by the AHC convene faculty and administrators from across the spectrum of health professions schools to examine issues of importance in a health-care environment that is increasingly multiprofessional and team-oriented.

If the US health-care system is to evolve from an individual-focused, disease-oriented, fee-for-service environment to one that emphasizes prevention and population-based approaches in an integrated managed-care environment, then the training and practice of health-care providers must change. Important elements of that change are the need for greater interdisciplinary training and increased collaboration among health professionals in the care of patients.

The Sixth Conference, Community and Commitment, included presentations by health professions educators on the following:

  • The overlapping roles of primary care providers.
  • Interdisciplinary education from the points of view of academic health center leaders, deans, and administrators.
  • What health professionals should know about public health.
  • Mentoring clinicians working in the community.
  • Enhancing health-care delivery to the underserved.
  • Transformation of an academic health center through collaboration.
  • International partnerships.
  • The challenges ahead.

Key Results

  • Some 100 health professions educators attended the Sixth Conference, which was held under the auspices of the Center for Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Learning (CICL).

    The CICL, which operates within the AHC offices, is funded through a cooperative agreement between the AHC and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and was established in 1997 to strengthen and institutionalize academic health centers' commitment to interdisciplinary, community-based learning, particularly in underserved areas.
  • Proceedings of the conference were published and 1,000 copies were distributed to health professions educators nationwide.
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation also provided support for the conference, which led to an unexpended balance from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant. This balance was used to support the Seventh Congress of Health Professions Educators.
  • This conference was called Educating Health Professionals to Enhance Quality and Safety. The conference theme was prompted by a 1999 report on medical errors, To Err is Human, issued by the Institute of Medicine, a private, non-profit organization that disseminates scientific knowledge to improve public health.
  • Approximately 100 health professions educators attended the conference.
  • The proceedings of the Seventh Congress were ready for printing in early December 2000, and plans call for approximately 1,000 copies to be distributed nationally.


RWJF provided $28,122 in funding from March 1999 to June 2000 to support the Sixth Congress of Health Professions Educators.