June 29, 2020—Christine Arenson, MD, has been named chair of a new STFM initiative to position academic family medicine in health systems.
"This is a critical time for family medicine," said Dr Arenson. "We have the evidence we need that team-based family medicine, with physicians operating with a broad scope of practice, are critical to improve health and health equity while reducing the total cost of health care for our nation. And yet we also know that traditional US payment models and traditionally structured healthcare systems are not designed or prepared to meet this mission."
As the Chair of the STFM health systems initiative, Dr Arenson will work with an assistant chair and STFM staff to convene workgroups to develop and deliver training, build connections with health systems leaders, and advocate for family medicine.
The goals of the initiative are to:
- Ensure that family medicine faculty—including community preceptors in non-academic settings—have sufficient time and institutional resources to teach and meet academic and accreditation requirements
- Preserve comprehensive practice for family physicians and family medicine faculty who wish to practice broad scope
- Improve faculty and learner well-being
- Transform family medicine training sites into clinical and teaching models of excellence.
The initiative builds on STFM’s work on the Preceptor Expansion Initiative and Protected Faculty Time Guidelines, and aligns with the collaborative efforts of the family medicine organizations to engage with health systems leaders to preserve comprehensive training and practice for family physicians, improve health outcomes, and identify and spread best practices for optimizing the role of family medicine.
Dr Arenson is the outgoing department chair at Thomas Jefferson University. She was recently named co-director of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota.