leaders are an important impetus for curriculum development, alone they are insufficient for establishing permanence for education and training in family violence without concurrent institutional changes. Sole dependence on such individuals can create challenges for stability, given the fluidity of American society and the frequency with which individuals change their institutional affiliations.
An example of this phenomenon has been published in the intimate partner violence literature (McLeer et al., 1989). The initial success of a novel emergency department screening program for intimate partner violence reverted to its inadequate baseline screening rate following the departure of the individuals primarily involved with the intervention. To maintain such efforts, the reform must be institutionalized. The challenge is to establish systems and procedures that help create a foundation that is sufficiently flexible to sustain innovations and behavioral changes.
Health professions are subject to numerous legal and voluntary requirements or guidelines related to ensuring the competence of practicing professionals, practice standards, and professional and patient protections. These requirements can serve as leverage points for the inclusion of particular educational content in a profession’s various modes of training. For example, students may be more likely to receive training on a particular topic if the requirements for professional accreditation demand it or subspecialty certification exams include it. Even without explicit requirements, a health professional organization can exert influence on training content by encouraging or supporting such efforts. The committee reviewed existing accreditation, licensure, and certification requirements to identify family violence components.
Accreditation of professional disciplines determines the course of study required to be part of the profession.3 In some cases, this may be as explicit as indicating the number of didactic hours of a particular subject area or as broad as specifying the requisite focal areas of study for a profession. Thus, requirements for the accreditation of professional disciplines can influence, if not in part define, the educational content in health professional schools.
The committee reviewed the accreditation standards as of December 2000