The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a physician-led, independent, and non-profit organization that establishes and oversees graduate medical education in the United States, notably residency and fellowship educations. The purpose is to prepare physicians who will deliver high-quality and safe medical care. As such, the organization has created six core competencies for all residency programs that provide a systematic structure that should be used in curriculums and assessments in medical education. Within each competency, specific milestones were set by each specialty. The following are the six core competencies and how they relate to practice within anesthesiology.
Critical in nearly every medical specialty, patient care is one of the core pillars of anesthesiology. In approaching patient care, one must keep in mind how they communicate with their patients; the physician is responsible for how the patient understands and perceives their medical experience. If enough attention is not taken to the patient’s medical literacy, this can lead to the patient misunderstanding how their care is being handled, which can result in a longer-lasting mistrust of the medical system. Many of the procedures that are performed by the anesthesiologists are considered to be invasive. Such procedures achieve the means of precisely monitoring vitals, providing adequate analgesia, and securing an airway. It is key that the anesthesiologist is able to communicate to the patient in an understandable way as to why these medical management measures are being taken in their case.
Attention to detail is an important aspect of patient care delivery. Knowing the patient’s past medical history, allergies, current medications, and pertinent family history are examples of information that should be gathered when developing a care plan for each case. At times, patient’s preferences can go overlooked in the setting of carrying out algorithm-driven protocols. Attention should be paid to patient preference. For example, as you are preparing a patient for a hip replacement, you will want to get consent from the patient for blood transfusion. By taking care to ask if the patient has any religious beliefs that would preclude them from receiving a transfusion (ie, Jehovah’s Witnesses), one can avoid a major ethical dilemma and instead, tactfully prepare for a possible autologous blood transfusion which will stay consistent with respecting the patient’s beliefs.
The ability to function within a team of allied health professionals is also key in patient care. As anesthesiologists, we are never caring for the patient in a vacuum; surgeons, interventionalists, PAs, and nurses all participate in the greater goal of ensuring that the patient safely undergoes the proper procedure for their medical condition. It is also important to keep in mind that the patient and their family are also members of the team and their input should be taken into consideration during the patient care experience.
Effective and ethical ...