As physicians, we pride ourselves on our clinical wins – nailing the diagnosis of a rare disorder or helping a patient achieve control of their long-standing diabetes. However, we commonly face intense frustration and high rates of burnout due to socioeconomic, political, and bureaucratic forces that prevent us from delivering impactful patient care. This frustration is compounded by the constant proliferation of changes in healthcare policy and care delivery to address alarming increases in healthcare cost and waste. Between the deluge of paperwork, regulations, and resource constraints, we often ask ourselves: Why does the system often hinder rather than enhance the physician-patient relationship?
The truth is that physicians can no longer sit on the sidelines. The questionable value of so many clinical procedures and the immense cost baked into the system are clearly unsustainable. Given that physicians – with their patients – ultimately make decisions regarding care plans, they are uniquely positioned to move the healthcare system to one that rewards doing only what is best for the patient. Yet, current physician training rarely incorporates curriculum designed to create systems thinkers capable of leading multi-discplinary care teams.
Enter Iora Health and its unique fellowship in primary care innovation and leadership. Iora is an innovative primary care delivery startup that is committed to restoring humanity to healthcare. It advances a high-impact, relationship based primary care model that is backed by talented health coaches, robust technology, and payment that is focused on patient outcomes.
The Iora fellowship, now taking applications for its fourth cohort, is designed to train the next generation of leaders that are focused on doing rather than talking about how to fix primary care. Iora fellows are enthusiastic clinician innovators that are committed to improving the primary care system while practicing medicine in an Iora clinic – the goal here is to develop leaders with deep appreciation for how interdisciplinary, collaborative care works. Besides superb clinical skills and deep-seated compassion, Iora fellows gain advanced systems thinking and management expertise. In part, this is accomplished through rigorous mentorship from Iora’s executive team, including frequent involvement from nationally recognized health innovation leader and Iora’s CEO/Co-Founder, Rushika Fernandopulle. Additionally, fellows complete a Masters in Healthcare Delivery Science at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Innovation projects round out the experience.
The fellows like to think of this program as an intense and multifaceted study of innovation as it happens on the frontlines. The regular mentorship from top-level physician and operations executives is genuine and heartfelt. The Masters at Dartmouth is one of the premier programs in the country committed to creating a legion of healthcare leaders committed to system transformation. It does this by placing key stakeholders in healthcare – providers, policy experts, payers, administrators, and industry executives – in the same classroom to learn from and challenge each other. Our individual projects have included the design of a primary care hospital visit program; leadership of a cross-functional team tackling medication reconciliation; buildout of a screening and referral tool for patients’ unmet social needs; and the creation of “Jumpstart” visits to creatively engage patients when they first join our clinics. Besides these projects, fellows take on a very real leadership role in helping run their respective clinics – they lead initiatives in population health management, analyze performance data, design clinic strategy, and act as cultural ambassadors. Perhaps most importantly, fellows are clinicians that see patients everyday – this ensures that their innovation work and learning is directly tied to the patient. The breadth of these experiences ensure that fellows are ready to take on a real leadership challenge upon completing the program.
Major changes in healthcare are afoot, and it is up to us to ensure that we have the skill set necessary to thrive in this dynamic environment. Change is rarely easy, but it does provide ample opportunity to rethink how care can be engineered to meet the needs of patients and their providers. The Iora fellowship in primary care leadership and innovation is a unique and fantastic opportunity to learn by doing the work necessary to create the change agents that American healthcare so desperately needs.
We are currently accepting applications for our fellowship class of 2019.
An Iora Fellow is a board-certified/eligible physician who has completed (or will soon complete) an accredited residency program in one of the following disciplines: internal medicine, family medicine and medicine-pediatrics. The two year fellowship provides a full-time, competitive fellowship-level salary, benefits and full Dartmouth tuition, contingent on admission to Dartmouth’s MHCDS program. All MHCDS coursework will take place in an executive education format, with both off- and on-campus coursework interspersed throughout the program. Iora Fellows may be placed at any of our practice sites nationwide, both existing and new.
Please note the application deadline of September 30th, 2016.
If you’re intrigued, please visit our Web site at www.iorahealth.com or contact Stephen Gordon, MD, MBA, Director of Fellowship at firstname.lastname@example.org.