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Education Now Part of GBMC Mission

September 1, 2020
A mission statement tells the community why we exist. Since 1965, when Greater Baltimore Medical Center opened, the mission statement has been unchanged. It was one of providing medical care and service of the highest quality to each patient, leading to health, healing and hope.

In September 2019, the GBMC HealthCare Board voted unanimously to change the mission statement: to provide medical care and service of the highest quality to each patient and to educate the next generation of clinicians, leading to health, healing and hope for the community. This change makes it clear to employees and the community we serve, that GBMC is both a teaching and learning organization.

"The patients we care for now and those we care for in the future will receive better medical care; by which I mean, they will have safer, more state-of-the-art treatment and have better outcomes as a result of this focus on education," GBMC Chair of the Department of Medicine, Melvin Blanchard, MD, said.

According to the American Clinical and Climatological Society, of which Dr. Blanchard is one of 250 national members, medical knowledge doubles every 90 days, which means even if a physician knew everything there was to know about medicine today, he or she would only be half as knowledgeable in just three months.

This is a significant influx of changing information for medical providers to adapt to, which is why continuous learning is paramount.

"Physicians who are involved in training the next generation stay more current than those who are not teaching," Dr. Blanchard, who has made a career of educating fellow physicians and residents, said. "Physicians who teach at GBMC will remain current. They will have the most up-to-date knowledge, and they're the ones who will be role models. Physicians who are teaching the next generation are really pushed to provide the best care today. But educating the next generation also helps our patients in the future because we're ensuring the same quality of medical care delivered today to our community will be delivered in an ongoing fashion."

GBMC embraces continuous performance improvement as a business model, and that assumes we are a family of learners. To formally have the education of clinicians in the mission statement ensures GBMC moves forward as an organization. It is in seeking new knowledge that physicians push the science of care forward – a core value GBMC has embraced since the Hospital for the Women of Maryland, of Baltimore City and Presbyterian Eye, Ear and Throat Charity Hospital formed GBMC 55 years ago.

"GBMC, in its founding departments of Ophthalmology, ENT and OB-GYN, has trained residents since the beginning," said Mary Louise Collins, MD, Chair of Ophthalmology and DIO for Graduate Medical Education at GBMC. "As physicians, we have an obligation to teach, and medical education has been a part of GBMC's work since its inception. However, we now felt it important to explicitly state, as part of our mission, the responsibility to educate the next generation of healthcare providers. Explicitly stating that this is part of our mission then obligates us to be intentional about it, and thus do a better job of educating residents as well as medical and other student learners."

"From a strategic standpoint, we are trying to make sure that the gap between what a physician should know and what they actually know is narrow and what they actually know and what they do is also narrow," Dr. Blanchard said. "Adding education to our mission is a commitment to our patients today and our patients in the future."
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