A curriculum for training quality scholars to improve the health and health care of veterans and the community at large

Qual Manag Health Care. 2002 Spring;10(3):10-8. doi: 10.1097/00019514-200210030-00006.


In 1998, the Veterans Health Administration invested in the creation of the Veterans Administration National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program (VAQS) to train physicians in new ways to improve the quality of health care. We describe the curriculum for this program and the lessons learned from our experience to date. The VAQS Fellowship program has developed a core improvement curriculum to train postresidency physicians in the scholarship, research, and teaching of the improvement of health care. The curriculum covers seven domains of knowledge related to improvement: health care as a process; variation and measurement; customer/beneficiary knowledge; leading, following, and making changes in health care; collaboration; social context and accountability; and developing new, locally useful knowledge. We combine specific knowledge about the improvement of health care with the use of adult learning strategies, interactive video, and development of learner competencies. Our program provides insights for medical education to better prepare physicians to participate in and lead the improvement of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Competency-Based Education
  • Curriculum*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / standards
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Hospitals, Veterans / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Veterans / standards
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Learning
  • New Hampshire
  • Organizational Affiliation
  • Schools, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Total Quality Management / methods*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs / organization & administration*