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Undergraduate Students Act as Consultants to American College of Physician Executives
(Featured in photo from left to right: A. Allen, S. Fichtelberg, E. Iorio, R. Beck, Prof. Meldrum, Y. Ivanov, Dr. Gail Gazelle, E. Ventura-Urena, C. Figueroa, F. Torres, C. Tamborella, missing from picture: M. Aleisha.)
Among the many Bentley University courses that connect students with professional organizations is “Human Relations in Health Care” taught by Professor Helen Meldrum. Students in the class were asked to assist the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) to help them better understand their members’ needs and how they can plan for the future environment of the healthcare industry.
During the Fall semester of 2013, the class surveyed the views of over 200 ACPE members. This analysis was conducted to gather information on the potential expansion into new educational marketplaces and to analyze current trends and relevant industry practices. Utilizing needs assessment methodologies in a systematic process of gathering information, the Bentley students focused on closing the gap between what ACPE members already know and what they want to know. The students provided strategic recommendations to ACPE including ways to improve their already very successful educational offerings.
This past December, Meldrum’s class, which consists of business students that have liberal studies double-majors in Health & Industry, was linked to a boardroom of ACPE executives at their Tampa Florida headquarters to report on their research results. Also, among those executives listening to the presentation on site at Bentley was Gail Gazelle, M.D. an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School and a leadership coach for physicians. A former Chief Medical Officer herself, Dr. Gazelle commented that the students provided very helpful insight for the ACPE in a rapidly changing field that is facing a “fascinating dilemma.” She applauded their hard work and thanked them for their dedication. Suggestions for potential next steps were provided for the consideration of ACPE leadership in an extensive written report.
The American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) is the foremost organization for the advancement of physicians in leadership positions in the U.S. Established in 1975 originally as the American Academy of Medical Directors; the academy was renamed in 1989 to its current title. For almost four decades, the College’s purpose has remained consistent: facilitating the advancement of physicians into leadership roles in the healthcare industry by providing them with the resources and educational opportunities they need to become successful. ACPE has provided for this development through their career-oriented skill improvement educational opportunities, which are designed to facilitate the development of leadership, communication, and executive business skills; ACPE offers a developed network of peers to learn with and from. With membership breaking the 11,000 mark, spread across 46 different countries, the networking opportunities are extensive (wwwACPE.org).
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.