Demonopolizing Medical Knowledge

A successful model of medical education and health care addresses the disconnect between knowledge and practice and makes high-quality treatment available to more patients in diverse geographic areas.

The Issue:

Medical practice has not kept pace with ever-expanding medical knowledge. As a result, many patients receive sub-standard care and die because known evidence-based practices—such as for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease—are not used generally by frontline clinicians except in academic medical centers (AMCs) and major city specialty clinics. Community-based primary care clinicians lack the expertise and support to provide specialized treatment to vulnerable populations, especially in rural areas.

These investigators developed Project ECHO—Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes—as a platform for lifelong medical education and collaborative practice that:

Key Findings

  • Links community care clinicians with specialist care teams at AMCs to manage patients with chronic conditions who require complex care.

  • Connects multiple clinics with specialists via videoconferencing to conduct virtual grand rounds.

  • Expands the technical expertise and medical knowledge of primary clinicians to deliver specialized care in rural or underserved areas.


AMC leaders should seize the opportunity to expand their mission of lifelong learning to include broad knowledge-sharing networks of health care providers and improve our nation’s health.

Project Echo on Pioneering Ideas Blog

Dr. Sanjeev Arora Talks Project ECHO with PBS New Mexico

Dr. Sanjeev Arora sat down with PBS to talk about how the medical education model is dramatically improving care across the state for some of its most vulnerable and underserved populations.

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Nancy Barrand

Conversation with Nancy Barrand and Sanjeev Aroro

RWJF's Nancy Barrand and Sanjeev Arora share how Project ECHO came to RWJF and what makes it a “pioneering” idea.

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Dr. Sanjeev Arora Presents Project ECHO at TEDx Albuquerque

Dr. Sanjeev Arora of Project ECHO presented at TEDx Albuquerque to a crowd of more than 2,000 people to explain how his medical education model works and its impact on underserved populations around the world.

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