The quality of medical education, advanced research, and overall healthcare standards are important metrics of a country’s development. Although there have been many laudable efforts in the United States in the fields of medicine, research, training, and scholarly science, the medical education and healthcare sector in this country are also plagued by several pain points.
For example, physician shortages, the residency bottleneck, shortfalls in Schools of Medicine & Research, lack of community health initiatives, and social prejudices are some factors affecting the quality of healthcare in the country, hindering quality medical education and research.
Fortunately, more than a few non-profit organizations have come forward and are working in different capacities to address and solve these problems. For example, Genentech, the world’s first biotechnology company, has focused on providing continuing education activities for healthcare professionals through its Independent Medical Education (IME) initiative.
Others, like Indiana University School of Medicine–South Bend, have concentrated on a region-specific approach and are working towards broadening the intellectual capital base in health technologies and promoting health awareness within regional communities.
On the other hand, there are also organizations, such as The Everest Foundation, whose philanthropic activities embrace many diverse areas of medicine and healthcare and whose ambition is to find a holistic solution to the problems plaguing the medical field in the country.
In this article, we will discuss the activities and endeavors of a few of these organizations. The below list is not comprehensive, but it will give a fair idea of how independent non-profit initiatives can make substantial contributions towards helping correct the country’s medical education and healthcare sector.
1. Genentech IME Initiative
As part of their social giving, Genentech Independent Medical Education (IME) initiative provides opportunities for accredited continuing education to healthcare professionals.
The grant recipients can receive education from accredited independent educational providers, such as medical education and communication companies, community health societies/associations, academic centers, community hospitals, and so on.
According to Genentech, the initiative is implemented to generate better patient outcomes by advancing excellence in healthcare and medicine and widening the medical community’s knowledge base.
2. Medical Education Foundation (MEF) – Indiana University School of Medicine
Indiana University School of Medicine – South Bend has taken a novel approach toward improving the quality of life, research, and intellectual capital base in medical education, biotechnology, and health sciences in the Michiana region.
It has set up MEF, a citizen’s advisory board whose chief mission is to convene all groups, individuals, and organizations from Michiana interested in improving the quality of healthcare in the region and initiate and facilitate conversations between these diverse parties.
The foundation is also driven towards facilitating high-quality medical research in a value-driven environment. Towards that purpose, it sponsors collaborative research endeavors (carried out by the combined talents of the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University) in cancer, infectious disease, and bioengineering.
Additionally, the MEF seeks to create greater awareness of health and medicine among the general populace by sponsoring the Mini Medical School Program annually on the Indiana University campus.
3. Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
Like the Genentech IME initiative, the Josiah Macy Foundation concentrates its philanthropic efforts on improving and broadening health professional education. However, it works with a considerably broader scope and ambition when providing continuous learning and education to active health professionals.
One of the chief initiatives of the organization is the Macy Faculty Scholars Program. The program involves identifying promising educators in medicine and care and nurturing their careers.
Each year, five faculty leaders are selected to join the program. As Macy Faculty Scholars, these individuals receive a $100,000/year grant for over two years. During this tenure, the scholars must participate in multiple career development activities programs and initiate a scholarly research project in their respective institutions.
At the end of their tenures, the Macy Scholars become part of a vast network of mentors and peers and help the organization’s subsequent efforts in health professional education.