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Macaran Baird, MD, MS, to Kick Off the Conference on Medical Student Education

November 14, 2014—Macaran (Mac) Baird, MD, MS, STFM past president and chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, has been selected to be the opening session speaker at the 2015 Conference on Medical Student Education. He’ll present ideas educators can implement to prepare themselves and students for the major changes taking place in family medicine.

Family medicine is in the midst of a national effort to transform medical practices in order to achieve the Triple Aim of improving measurable patient outcomes, improving the patient experience, and reducing overall costs,” Dr Baird explained. “Our goal must be to create work and educational systems that can manage these new demands by engaging our colleagues and trainees in positive, encouraging ways to be successful.”

In his conference presentation, “Family Medicine and Medical Student Education in the Era of Accountability,” Dr Baird will address how educational systems can find adaptive ways to teach the most important principles of primary care, practice improvement, change management, and leadership, and at the same time help students acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitude central to a successful career in a changing world.

"Family medicine is about connecting to patients and their families, not just about treating illness or performing procedures,” Dr Baird pointed out. He emphasized that educators and their learners should look at patients’ social and local influences, identifying factors that can interfere with care and undermine the health. They should also work with community resources to improve barriers to better health and become involved in advocacy and public discussion about population health payment models that support teamwork and community outreach. “Without addressing these issues, in some way, many of our patients will remain mired in poor health.”

During his presentation, Dr Baird will advocate for a Fourth Aim: to improve the work life of health professionals and staff. He advises educators to model the healthy lifestyle family physicians ask of patients—getting sufficient sleep and exercise and staying connected to communities and families—and to be explicit about how to work in teams with other health professionals.

Dr Baird has been chair of Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota since July 2002. He serves as board chair of UCare Minnesota, the fourth largest HMO in Minnesota. In addition to being STFM past president, his national involvement includes past president of the STFM Foundation, vice chair of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine Clinical Practice Committee, and past board member of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. He co-chaired the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Health and Behavior and was a member of COGME from 1991-2000. In November 2008, Dr Baird was co-recipient of the Donald A. Bloch Award for significant contributions to the field of collaborative family health care.

The Conference on Medical Student Education is February 5–8, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. The conference is geared specifically to medical educators and offers a unique blend of educator and student presentations. Register online at

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