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Academic General Internal Medicine: a Mission for the Future

During a recent organizational retreat, SGIM Council invested our time to think about the big picture. Health care is a rapidly changing field but still has a long way to go until it serves all patients safely, equitably, and cost effectively. As individuals, SGIM members work toward that goal every day. They care for patients in primary care offices and the hospital. They study quality improvement, and conduct research comparing different medical treatments and systems, all to find that which provides the best outcome and value for patients. They teach medical students and residents to think critically, and care compassionately. We all play a critical role in shaping the future of health care. As an organization and a field more broadly, we wanted to define a mission for academic general internal medicine going forward: to create and practice in a high value health care system. --Brad Crotty

After five decades of growth that has included advances in medical education and health care delivery, value cohesion, and integration of diversity, we propose an overarching mission for academic general internal medicine to lead excellence, change, and innovation in clinical care, education, and research. General internal medicine aims to achieve health care delivery that is comprehensive, technologically-advanced and individualized; instills trust within a culture of respect; is efficient in the use of time, people, and resources; is organized and financed to achieve optimal health outcomes; maximizes equity; and continually learns and adapts. This mission of health care transformation has implications for the clinical, educational, and research activities of divisions of general internal medicine over the next several decades. 

Katrina Armstrong MD, Nancy L. Keating MD, MPH, Michael Landry MD, Bradley H. Crotty, MD, Russell S. Phillips MD, and Harry P. Selker MD, MSPH, for the Council of the Society of General Internal Medicine 

Read the full paper here