Collaborating for Safety, Quality, and Success

In March, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) held its annual meeting, which CAP was privileged to attend. The theme of the meeting was “Transformation through Collaboration.”

As one session followed another, and speakers from all over the world shared their experiences and insights, themes we know so well emerged. One theme is our continuing search for safety and quality. We want our patients to be safe. We want our clinicians to be safe. We want our organizations to be safe. At the most basic level, we want to get paid and keep what we have earned so we can continue to care for our communities — the theme of our continuing search for success. A third theme, and perhaps the most challenging, is that collaboration involves learning — even changing – through extraordinary listening, respectful speaking, open-mindedness, and humility before our patients and their families, our colleagues, and our organizations. As one meeting attendee, a hand surgeon who is a clinical faculty member, observed, there is always tension among the goals of the collaborators. It takes talent and tact to use that tension as an impetus rather than a barrier to achievement.

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CAP’s role in graduate medical education follows an arc from residency to professional practice. With each new cohort of residents, CAP staff engaged in the Residents Program and The Successful Physician interact with the clinicians who are leading and will lead medicine forward. Thanks to CAP member physicians, the Residents Program and The Successful Physician reach residents and faculty at university medical centers, district hospitals, specialty medical groups, and professional associations throughout California. In addition, through CAP’s relationship with the Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Program West Consortium, CAP reaches 23 consortium partners with 80 residencies, 653 residents, and clinical faculty. CAP staff establish and nurture relationships with department heads, administrators, program directors, program coordinators, and support staff. The energy, effort, and expertise which CAP staff, Schmid & Voiles staff, and CAP’s community partners so generously share are the foundational elements of a truly remarkable collaboration for safety, quality, and success.

In response to ACGME Common Program Requirements for residency training programs, over the coming months we will be reconfiguring the content from the existing modules of CAP’s Residents Program and The Successful Physician into concentrated presentations that will be delivered via webinar at intervals throughout the academic year. The new presentations will be targeted at safety, quality, transitions of care, wellness, and the evolution of professional practice. As appropriate, the presentations will include clinical case examples, opportunities for scholarly inquiry, and references/resources. Faculty will be drawn from CAP staff, Schmid & Voiles attorneys, and CAP community partners. From our many and varied perspectives – medical professional liability protection, the Quadruple Aim, the National Transition of Care Coalition, and the Quality Payment Program – we will contribute to our shared goals of providing information, strategies, and tools to support clinicians in their vital work.  

Carole A. Lambert is Vice President, Practice Optimization and Residents Program Director for the Cooperative of American Physicians. Questions or comments related to this article should be directed to