Graduate medical education's new focus on resident engagement in quality and safety: will it transform the culture of teaching hospitals?

Acad Med. 2014 Oct;89(10):1328-30. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000435.


The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently announced its Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) program, which is designed to catalyze and promote the engagement of physician trainees in health care quality and patient safety activities that are essential to the delivery of high-quality patient care in U.S. teaching hospitals. In this Commentary, the authors argue that a strong organizational culture in quality improvement and patient safety is a necessary foundation for resident engagement in these areas. They describe residents' influence via their social networks on the behaviors and attitudes of peers and other health care providers and highlight this as a powerful driver for culture change in teaching hospitals. They also consider some of the potential unintended consequences of the CLER program and offer strategies to avoid them. The authors suggest that the CLER program provides an opportunity for health care and graduate medical education leaders to closely examine organizational quality and safety culture and the degree to which their residents are integrated in these efforts. They highlight the importance of developing collaborative interprofessional strategies to reach common goals to improve patient care. By sharpening the focus on patient safety, supervision, professionalism, patient care transitions, and the overall quality of health care delivery in the clinical learning environment during residents' formative training years, the hope is that the CLER program will inspire a new generation of physicians who possess and value these skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • United States