Build the Workforce of the Future

Projecting the future need and supply of health care professionals is an ongoing challenge, with estimated shortages or surpluses often subject to much debate. Yet virtually all agree that outstanding medical education, research, and clinical care must start with a solid foundation in an exceptionally well-prepared and diverse workforce.

UMMS is one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, and together with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial, it has built a reputation as a world-class research, teaching, and service delivery institution. By virtue of our distinguished history and promising future, we are uniquely positioned to build the workforce of the future, to serve the needs of our community, the commonwealth, and the world.

Together we are committed to being an academic health sciences center on the cutting edge of educational, technological, scientific, and medical advances. Our goal is to build a diverse, representative, inter-professional workforce able to support this future state. Toward this end, we must partner with our community, both locally and globally, to develop the pipeline for the workforce of the future. We must continue to show innovation in multiple arenas—interprofessional learning and experietial learning, among others—and to focus both on contemporary competencies and leadership development across the educational experience. Perhaps most important, we must attract and retain faculty who are lifelong learners and who can inspire students to become lifelong learners themselves.

Our commitment to building the workforce of the future has multiple components. At the core is our mission to teach and train nursing students, medical students, and graduate students, preparing them for service locally, regionally, and globally. Also critical is the continued expansion of opportunities for post-graduate trainees as well as continuing medical education and on going support of all staff. Furthermore, we adhere to a common principle for performance management that emphasizes accountability at all levels.

Permeating all of these efforts must be a strong and enduring focus on achieving diversity among our student population, faculty, and clinical workforce. The issue of diversity requires special consideration. The recently released Roadmap on Diversity from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reflects the benefits accrued by all learners from immersion in a diverse population. These include, and we affirm, the following:
  1. enhanced quality of education for all learners;
  2. more effective and culturally competent physicians and nurses, better prepared to serve a varied patient population;
  3. a more diverse output of graduates who may be more likely to provide access to care for underserved communities; and
  4. improved ability to address health care disparities.

 

 

Recommendations

Our priorities for building the workforce of the future are to:

  • enhance the mechanisms for enrollment expansion and management through pipeline programs, pre-doctoral programs, post-graduate training in graduate medical education and post-doctoral biomedical sciences, and continuing professional education. The underlying principle will be to continually monitor and improve our ability to respond to specific workforce needs in our community, the commonwealth, and the world. These tasks will be undertaken in partnership with the other campuses of our university, with particular attention to expanding opportunities for UMass students who have disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • pursue educational program innovation to prepare our learners—scientists, professionals, clinical problem solvers, advocates—for competencies of the future. Consider:
    1. new degrees and combined degree programs;
    2. comprehensive curriculum renewal for the School of Medicine;
    3. residencies and fellowship innovation;
    4. Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation as a UMMSwide resource;
    5. establishment of educational research and evaluation as a core UMMS-wide resource; and
    6. administrative and operational strategies to facilitate interprofessional learning.
  • enhance the quality, diversity, and depth of our student, resident, and fellow population and our clinical education workforce to keep pace with expanding enrollment, curriculum innovation, health disparities, and the evolving demographics and health status of our communities;
  • develop resources to facilitate faculty advancement, leadership development, and team development across the Academic Health Sciences Center by offering training in such areas as strategic planning, constituency building, team leadership and membership, resource management, communication, supervision, delegation, fundraising, and self awareness; and
  • maintain ongoing feedback between the administration and various constituent groups, including the Women's Leadership Planning Group and Minority Faculty Subcommittee, in order to attract, retain, and enrich women and minority faculty and leaders for our combined enterprise.

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