HERSHEY, Pa. — An innovative curriculum at Penn State College of Medicine is highlighted in a new textbook designed to help physicians navigate the changing landscape of modern health care. Dr. Jed Gonzalo, associate dean for health systems education, is one of six co-authors of the book.
The Systems Navigation Curriculum (SyNC) involves embedding first-year medical students as patient navigators in clinical sites throughout central Pennsylvania. It was launched in August 2014 with help from a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association (AMA).
The AMA collaborated with a consortium of medical schools to identify the innovations needed to create the medical school of the future. “Health Systems Science” emerged as the third pillar of medical education that should be integrated with the two existing pillars: basic and clinical sciences. Together, the AMA and the 11 founding consortium schools wrote a textbook to formalize this concept to help medical schools across the country teach their students the knowledge, skills and behaviors they will need to deliver care in the rapidly changing health care environment while also understanding how patients receive and access that care.
Parts of the new textbook are already in use in medical schools across the country, and it will be made available to all medical schools in mid-December.