*Bryan Vartabedian, MD, Kirsten Ostherr, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital
Oral Presentation – Practice Track
Saturday, Sept 29, 2012: 9:43 AM – 10:03 AM – LK120

*Presenting Speaker

Information technologies have produced a knowledge economy driven by mobile, social, personalized, and global health practices, but medical training has not kept pace with this rapid change. Medical education is the foundation for every doctor’s future practice, yet our system has not seen substantive reform since the Flexner Report of 1910. Social forces such as the Health 2.0 movement are disrupting doctor-patient communication, and medical students must learn new methods for engaging this opportunity. We propose a collaborative presentation describing how the Medical Futures Lab will tackle this challenge by cultivating innovative thinking for doctors through an integrated, socio-technical approach that harnesses the networked intelligence tools of the 21st century.

The millennial generation entering medical school today has grown up blending face-to-face communication with digital interfaces, finding and creating knowledge on Wikipedia, and playing collaborative games online. Medical education must build on these students’ skills by integrating their intuitive digital capabilities with critical, ethical understanding and immersive, “experiment-and-improve” learning. How can we reimagine medical education so that the next generation of medical leaders can help us solve the grand challenges of medicine?

Under collaborative humanist and physician leadership, we have established a first-of-its-kind space for exploring and understanding the ways that digital computing has changed the practice of medicine, from the challenges of privacy and professionalism in social media to the ethical dilemmas of big data, personalized medicine, and genome sequencing.

Our team includes a leading medical social media expert, an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of digital medical humanities, a physician-informaticist, an ethicist-writer/filmmaker, a humanist health game developer, a medical media designer, and a data visualization artist.

We will describe our innovative coursework for pre-med students at Rice University, and how we adapt those courses for medical students and residents at University of Texas Health Science Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children’s Hospital. Our courses at Rice University model integrated knowledge through creative, hands-on critical thinking and design, bringing outside experts (MDs, designers) into the undergraduate classroom. Courses such as “Medicine and Media”  (x-rays to fMRI; Zoloft ads to House, MD) and “Medicine in the Age of Networked Intelligence” (Social media, quantified self, big data ethics) are team-taught by humanists, physicians, and creative designers. Month-long medical school electives such as “Patient Stories as Data,” and “Visual Communication” build new paradigms in digital medical humanities. The “Digital Professionalism Project” at Texas Children’s Hospital will launch the first residency curriculum to identify and address the issues specific to professionalism and new media.

All of our projects include a “media lab” component, and we will describe the strategies and objectives of those experiments. We will conclude the presentation with a discussion of our strategies for accomplishing a core long-term objective: establishing a national dialogue on digital professionalism that prompts formation of a credentialing system to assist doctors, patients, and hospitals in identifying clinicians with millennial-appropriate communication and collaboration skills.