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New RTI Press publication showcases innovations to help health professionals address medical misinformation

The paper describes grant projects organized by the Association of American Medical Colleges with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new paper published by RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications, comprises insights from several organizations and academic institutions on how to prepare health professionals to address medical misinformation and improve patient health.

The paper includes a collection of essays highlighting examples of competency-based, interprofessional strategies to address health misinformation and mistrust through health professions education. The techniques were developed by recipients of a subgrant program launched by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) through a Cooperative Agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)*.

“Research shows that patients in the U.S. generally trust their health care providers, meaning the interpersonal interaction between provider and patient is a crucial opportunity to combat the effects of misinformation,” said Brian Southwell, Ph.D., senior scientist at RTI and lead editor of the paper. “This collection of insights provides guidance on how we can prepare up-and-coming health professionals to make the most of those interactions.”

The five essays written by each of the AAMC subgrantees include a description of project activities and key lessons learned. The editors highlight several key observations from across the subgrant projects, including:

  • When developing curricular interventions to train a wide range of learners, differentiation is critical as health professionals’ needs vary based on specific learning requirements or constraints
  • Effective integration, timing and convenience of tools to support the clinical learning experience matter
  • Motivational interviewing can be integrated into health professions education and is an effective tool to improve understanding and commitment to change unhealthy behaviors

“We know that misinformation continues to cause confusion and poor health outcomes,” said Lisa Howley, Ph.D., senior director at AAMC and project lead. “Our health professions educators are taking innovative steps and designing effective curricula to better equip clinicians with the skills to work collaboratively with their patients to take vaccines, use proven treatments or adhere to public health guidelines.”

The AAMC subgrant recipients, who are the authors of the essays, represent teams from the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, the Maine Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The paper was edited by experts from RTI International, the AAMC and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Read the full paper

*This collection of essays was funded in part by a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) entitled “AAMC Improving Clinical and Public Health Outcomes through National Partnerships to Prevent and Control Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Threats” (Federal Award Identification Number: NU50CK000586). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The information in this collection of essays does not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal government.