Training Tomorrow's Physicians in Value Conscious Medicine

Acad Med. 2023 Jul 1;98(7):795-799. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005160. Epub 2023 Jan 24.


Problem: Future physicians will practice medicine in an increasingly complex health care system. To become effective leaders of value-based teams and to practice cost-conscious care, medical students need training in and exposure to value conscious medicine (VCM).

Approach: A student-led initiative to enhance education in VCM led to the development of the 4-week elective course (High Value Care: In Policy and in Practice) for postclerkship third- and fourth-year students, introduced in 2021 at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The course included structured didactics, self-directed online modules, a book club, and flipped-classroom discussions in addition to clinical rotations focused on VCM in practice.

Outcomes: Students' self-ratings of their understanding of VCM, preparation to practice value-based care, and comfort incorporating patient and system costs into clinical decisions improved after completing the course. Most indicated they would recommend the course to their peers. Suggestions for improvement included more teach-back sessions with faculty as well as more direction for preceptors to demonstrate specific aspects of VCM.

Next steps: The authors share this example of a dedicated medical school VCM course as a step toward achieving the vision of integrating value into clinical decision making and empowering students to become informed and capable future physicians. Other institutions may consider adapting this course example to prepare their students to practice VCM in an increasingly cost-focused system.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Students, Medical*