PHILADELPHIA — A medical student in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is among the winners of the first ever Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely competition held by the Costs of Care and the ABIM Foundation for innovative projects that promote high-value care by reducing waste and overuse in health care.

Awarded in the “Bright Idea” category, second year medical student Giffin Daughtridge, along with his faculty advisor, Richard P. Shannon, MD, former chair of the department of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, designed an advanced elective course to help improve cost consciousness and decision making for fourth year medical students and residents. The course includes a syllabus of didactic lectures combined with a value analysis project that requires calculation of the cost of an ideal care plan for a real patient and comparing this to the patient’s true costs of care.

I am really excited about the award and introducing this course to our medical school and hopefully others one day,” said Daughtridge. “Improving our students’ awareness of the cost and quality of the care they deliver will make them more effective physicians. Additionally, the course will benefit the healthcare system as physician decision-making represents a powerful lever to improve healthcare value.  By targeting fourth-year medical students and residents, we hope to make an impact on how students of the course practice medicine for the rest of their careers.”

This course will initially be offered in January 2014, and once it has been piloted, it will be integrated into the Perelman School of Medicine’s curriculum. The classes and value analysis project will be replicable at any medical school that has an affiliated hospital.

Winners—a combination of medical educators and students—were named in two categories: “Innovations” for projects that are either completed or underway and “Bright Ideas” for proposed interventions that were supported by a plan for dissemination to other institutions. 

 Daughtridge and the other awardees will present their projects at a meeting entitled “Advancing the Competency of Stewarding Healthcare Resources in Medical Education and Training” on November 1, as well as the annual meeting of the AAMC on November 2.

“Choosing Wisely is about ensuring that physicians and patients have critical conversations about what tests and procedures are necessary. These innovations will go a long way in helping us build a generation of physicians that have inculcated reduction of overuse and unnecessary care into their daily practice,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of the ABIM Foundation. “Congratulations and thank you to the winners for contributing these important ideas and innovations that demonstrate how medical professionalism can be a force for change in improving our health care system.”

The Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely Competition is supported by an ABIM Foundation grant to Costs of Care and builds on the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign. Nearly 60 medical specialty societies have joined Choosing Wisely to help physicians and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and support physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.