Seeking a Stable Foundation to Build on: 1st-Year Residents' Views of High-Value Care Teaching

Abstract [from journal]

Background: United States (US) residency programs have been recently mandated to teach the concept of high-value care (HVC) defined as care that balances the benefits of interventions with their harms and costs. We know that reflective practice is a key to successful learning of HVC; however, little is known about resident perceptions of HVC learning. To better inform HVC teaching in graduate medical education, we asked 1st-year residents to reflect on their HVC learning.

Methods: We conducted three focus groups (n = 36) and online forum discussion (n = 13) of 1st-year internal medicine residents. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to assess transcripts for recurrent themes to identify the perspectives of residents shared about HVC learning.

Results: Residents perceived their learning of HVC as limited by cultural and systemic barriers that included limited time, fear of missing a diagnosis, perceived expectations of attending physicians, and poor cost transparency. While the residents reported considerable exposure to the construct of HVC, they desired a more consistent framework that could be applied in different situations. In particular, residents reported frustration with variable incentives, objectives, and definitions pertaining to HVC. Suggestions for improvement in HVC teaching outlined three main needs for: (1) a generalizable framework to systematically approach each case that could be later adapted to independent practice; (2) objective real-time data on costs, benefits, and harms of medical interventions; and (3) standardized approach to assess resident competency in HVC.

Discussion: As frontline clinicians and the intended target audience for HVC education, 1st-year residents are in a unique position to provide feedback to improve HVC teaching in residency. Our findings highlight the learners' desire for a more systematic approach to HVC teaching that includes the development of a stable generalizable framework for decision-making, objective data, and standardized assessment. These findings contrast current educational interventions in HVC that aim at reducing the overuse of specific practices.