The Department of Medicine in 2030: A Look Ahead

David L. Coleman, David H. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

3 Scopus citations


The authors described the features of a hypothetical academic Department of Medicine in 2030 that would be most effective in improving the public health. Future departments of medicine will be compelled to respond to a projected shortage of physicians through augmented training strategies. The clinical programs will be more decentralized and responsive to patient preferences while demonstrating greater value. Departments will create adaptable, accountable structures in which clinicians working in interdisciplinary teams continuously improve processes and outcomes of care, and clinician and patient satisfaction. The restructuring of health care will afford exciting opportunities to align clinical and scholarly activities. The growing ability to link biological and clinical phenotypic information will lead to more effective and efficient clinical care. In view of the funding constraints and the remarkable opportunities for high-impact research, departmental research programs will become increasingly disciplined. Successful research programs will require durable investments in faculty career development, enabling infrastructure, interdisciplinary research teams, and diverse funding sources. The educational programs will demonstrate proficiency of trainees in the 6 current core competencies, as well as in additional areas critical to health care transformation. To improve organizational effectiveness, departments will create more nimble organizational structures led by individuals with diverse backgrounds. Chairs of departments of medicine will be expected to continuously expand their capacity to meet the evolving needs of their departments and institutions. Members of departments of medicine will be continuously fortified by the privilege and obligations of our profession while embracing the risks necessary to meet the extraordinary opportunities in 2030.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1233
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Clinical care
  • Department of Medicine
  • Faculty Development
  • Medical Education
  • Medical Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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