D.G. Kirch is president and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC. C. Ast is senior director, executive activities, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.
As the U.S. electorate has become increasingly polarized, these divisions are poised to shape legislative and regulatory work in the years ahead. For those whose focus is on the public goods of health care for all, the advancement of science through rigorous research, and the contribution of higher education to the continual improvement of the nation's workforce, there is profound uncertainty about the future. There are several pressing questions facing the nation and academic medicine, including the future of affordable, accessible insurance; acceptance of scientific evidence; sustainable learning and teaching methodologies; and the well-being and preparation of the nation's health workforce to care for an increasingly diverse nation. For those in academic medicine and policy making alike, the authors propose a framework, grounded in scientific evidence and guided by clinical ethics, for designing and evaluating health policy solutions for these and other pressing questions.