Kaiser Permanente to launch medical school

Kaiser Permanente, the nonprofit HMO and health system, says it plans to redesign physician education and will open a new medical school to meet the nation's demands for 21st century healthcare.

The organization said physician education--originally built around care delivered in hospitals and medical offices--has not evolved as rapidly as patient and community needs.

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will provide education on how doctors can provide high-quality care beyond traditional medical settings, collaborate with other clinicians and address disparities in health, according to the announcement. It aims to teach advanced skills in decision-making, use of technology, evidence-based medicine and communication tailored to specific populations.

"Opening a medical school and influencing physician education is based on our belief that the new models of care mean we must reimagine how physicians are trained," said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, in the announcement.

"Training a new generation of physicians to deliver on the promise of health and healthcare demonstrates our belief that our model of care is best for the current and future diverse populations in this country."

The creation of the school also advances work the organization already does in physician education, according to Tyson. Kaiser Permanente has more than 600 new physicians currently completing their residency programs and several thousand more from 50 affiliated programs complete a portion of their training at Kaiser Permanente each year.

The announcement about the new medical school comes in the wake of calls to transform medical education and graduate medical education requirements.

"Medical education needs to change to keep pace with the changing healthcare delivery system and changing patient needs," George Thibault, M.D., president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, said in the announcement.

"Kaiser Permanente is in a position to make important contributions to these changes by bringing its vast experience with teamwork, coordinated care and technology to medical education. Kaiser Permanente's proposed new medical school will join other new schools and reform-minded existing schools in this effort to better align medical education with contemporary societal needs."

The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019 and will be based in Southern California.

To learn more:
- read the announcement