The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) today announced the launch of the NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This new program, in partnership with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), will support up to 10 scholars in a one-year, part-time remote experience to enhance the scholars’ knowledge and skills in diagnostic quality and safety, and accelerate their career development toward becoming national leaders in the field. Scholars will build upon the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care (2015) and propose the implementation of projects that will improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic errors at the national level.

“Diagnostic errors are a significant contributor to patient harm, and our 2015 report was a serious wake-up call that we still have a long way to go,” said Victor J. Dzau, president of the NAM. “The NAM is delighted to launch this new program in partnership with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and thanks the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for its generous funding. My hope is that the scholars’ work to improve diagnostic quality and safety will have profound effects not only on the way our health care system operates but also on the lives of patients.”

The call for applications will open in January 2021, with the first cohort of scholars to begin their program participation in July 2021.  \An NAM-appointed advisory committee will select scholars who are interested in focusing on diagnosis-related work from a broad range of disciplines and professions — including physicians, advanced practice clinicians, quality experts, informaticians, and researchers.

Each scholar will receive a stipend of $35,000 to support various program-related activities and participate in a structured online curriculum, cohort learning activities, and professional networking opportunities. In addition, each scholar will be matched with a personal mentor who can provide subject matter/technical expertise for the work of the scholar and/or professional guidance to the scholar. For more information, visit the program website.

“We are happy to support scholars who are committed to and passionate about diagnostic excellence,” said Karen Cosby, program officer for patient care at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how these individuals address the gaps in research and information on improving diagnosis now and into the future.”

“We are very pleased to partner with the National Academy of Medicine on the new Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program,” said Helen Burstin, CMSS chief executive officer. “Given the depth and breadth of CMSS’s membership, this new scholars program presents an important opportunity to offer strategies to address diagnostic excellence across the full house of medicine.”

In addition to the NAM Scholars in Diagnostic Excellence program, the NAM administers four fellowships and a variety of programs designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in health, medicine, and biomedical science, while engaging them in the work of the NAM and the National Academies.

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