Public Release: 

Boston University School of Medicine students selected for STARS Program

University of Texas-Austin-Dell Medical School launches first US community of STARS with funding from the ABIM and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundations

Boston University School of Medicine

(Boston) -- Reena Bastin and Faizah Shareef, first-year medical students from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), are joining 48 other medical students from across the country to learn about value in medicine through the new STARS (Students and Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship) program, which aims to help medical students develop skills to identify the appropriate amount of patient care.

Bastin is enrolled in BU's seven-year liberal arts/medical education program. She is a member of BUSM PumpStart, a program that allows her to travel to local high schools and teach students CPR. In addition, Bastin belongs to the Wellness Initiative team to help improve the wellbeing of medical students on campus.

Shareef graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in exercise physiology. Before coming to BUSM, she spent a gap year at the National Institutes of Health where she conducted clinical research in pediatric obesity. Shareef also is involved in the American Medical Association as well as the BUSM Wellness Initiative.

Through the STARS program, students will review ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely value-based care campaign, along with medical society recommendations. They will use these and other tools, including the Teaching Value in Health Care learning network, to drive change at their medical schools and to improve the value of patient care they provide through their training.

The Choosing Wisely initiative started in 2010 as campaign to reduce the ordering of overused tests and treatments that did not provide meaningful benefit for patients. "In order to control the costs of healthcare it is vital that physicians have the skills, experience and attitudes necessary to provide the right amount of care for each patient. It is exciting to see two of our first-year students, Faizah Shareef and Reena Bastin, accept the mantle of leadership for the Choosing Wisely campaign for Boston University School of Medicine," said Craig Noronha MD, FACP, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM and faculty champion of the program at the school.

Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin is leading the initiative to identify and coach 50 student leaders in the core tenets of value-based care to create better health outcomes for patients at lower costs.

"Medical training environments have life-long effects on physicians' medical practices, so if we want to reorient the system toward value, we should start as far upstream as we can in medical training," said Chris Moriates, MD, assistant dean for healthcare value at the Dell Medical School, where he is creating an innovative curriculum for value-based healthcare for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education. "By engaging medical students in introducing the concepts of Choosing Wisely into their own training, we expect to have ripple effects that will eventually reach all corners of our health care system."

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and ABIM Foundation provided funding for STARS, which kicked off in December 2017 with a one-day summit at the Dell Medical School for first-year medical students.

The U.S. STARS program mirrors the successful STARS program started in 2015 by Choosing Wisely Canada with support from the ABIM Foundation. Over the first year of the program, Canadian medical students led several projects to advance Choosing Wisely. STARS is becoming an international movement, with the Netherlands and Japan recently launching their own programs.

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