As innovations in the biotechnology sector continue to proliferate, the traditional education of medical students, residents and fellows will need to change to incorporate innovation as a core tenet of training.
The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered pressing needs for improved healthcare access, affordability and quality1. Rising to the challenge, individuals in the biotechnology sector embarked on collaborative ventures to design and implement innovative solutions to pandemic demands, which in many ways were masking inefficiencies in how care was delivered in general2,3,4,5,6. In parallel, the challenges posed by the pandemic spurred medical training programs to re-evaluate the goals and structures of the traditional medical curriculum7,8,9. Didactics and simulations transitioned into remote formats for medical students, and programs strove to reduce the cognitive load for residents and fellows in the setting of a pandemic10,11,12. Yet developments in medical training thus far still focus on the delivery and format of the curriculum, including flipped classroom and case-based models, as opposed to teaching innovation13,14. At this critical juncture, we propose the incorporation of innovation itself as a core tenet of medical training, as the importance of real-time medical innovations in biotechnology cannot be denied.
As the role of the healthcare professional continues to expand, and as healthcare reimbursement increasingly prioritizes value over quantity, acquiring the skill set of an innovator has become more vital and pertinent to all stages of medical training. Innovation in healthcare is defined as the implementation of a novel idea in the advancement of care delivery and health outcomes15. Our previous work demonstrated successful integration of innovation education into ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education)-accredited residency programs and hospital departments16,17. Here, we delve further into innovation training: the skill sets in demand, potential barriers and opportunities to develop an infrastructure for innovation in medical training. Seizing these opportunities to address the needs of current healthcare trainees may enhance the development of change-markers in the field of biotechnology.