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Help us make it happen—together we can build the medical school of the future. Imagine a school that truly meets the needs of our nation's medical students, physicians and patients, a school that facilitates improvements in care delivery and the stewardship of our nation's resources.

The American Medical Association believes it can be done. That's why we're placing significant resources toward the effort to help make it happen.

The Initiative
Leadership Teams

The American Medical Association is committed to making the important changes in physician training that have been identified over the last decade by the medical education community. We sponsored 11 boldly innovative projects with partner medical schools to develop new models that can be adapted at other schools.

One page summary

How are we going to accelerate change in medical education?
Wide consensus on the need for deep restructuring and breakthrough innovation has existed within the medical education community for more than a decade. Yet the defined changes have not occurred.

Barriers to innovation are preventing medical schools from making these changes on their own, and new ideas, new models and new leaders are needed to serve as catalysts.

To accelerate this change, and in keeping with our historic leadership in physician education, the AMA in 2013 launched an $11 million competitive grant initiative that resulted in partnerships with 11 leading medical schools.

  • Develop new methods for measuring and assessing key competencies for physicians at all training levels to create more flexible, individualized learning plans
  • Promote exemplary methods to achieve patient safety, performance improvement and patient-centered team care
  • Improve understanding of the health care system and health care financing in medical training
  • Optimize the learning environment

Our timeline

Overview video

March–June 2013

AMA awards $11M to transform the way future physicians are trained

October 2013


Why are we leading the charge?
The AMA has played a leading role in improving medical education in the United States for more than 165 years. Because no single medical school is positioned to break the educational model of the last century, the AMA is in the right place at the right time to build the medical school of the future. Today we are providing the strategic leadership to accelerate both the development and the broad implementation of changes in medical education through partnerships with medical schools, health care delivery systems, professional associations and other national leaders.

How will the physician role change in the future?
For the past century medical student education has emphasized a strong foundation in basic and clinical sciences within a rigidly designed four-year curriculum. While this strategy has worked well over the decades, the constrained structure of traditional courses has not allowed for appropriate change to keep pace with today's needs.

Although many schools are currently working to add new competencies within their already cramped curricular constraints, overall, the medical school community is just beginning to answer the call for change with creative solutions focused on teamwork, policy, cost and patient safety.

Physician changes needed to adapt to health care in the future

What does the medical school of the future look like?
  • Adapts to rapid change in technology, in dissemination of information and data, in personalized genetics and in care delivery
  • Incorporates curriculum that prepares physicians to use new technologies effectively as decision-making tools for better, safer and more cost-effective patient care
  • Provides a learning environment for physicians as early adopters of new care delivery via use of telemedicine and working with teams of caregivers
  • Supports flexible pathways for physician training and acknowledges the competencies students acquire before or during medical school

Related podcasts
The medical school of the future, James L. Madara, MD
Innovations in medical education: Aligning education with the needs of the public, George E. Thibault, MD
Perspectives on current and future issues facing medical health professions’ education in the developed and developing worlds, George Lueddeke, PhD

Gazing into the crystal ball: A summary of the AMA "Accelerating Change in Medical Education" initiative grant innovations, Mark Quirk EdD

New ecosystems for higher education: The road ahead, Richard A. DeMillo, PhD

The AMA is partnering with leading medical schools and national organizations to ensure that future physicians are prepared and empowered to succeed as leaders and team members in our evolving health care system. Through collaboration, the AMA is working to prepare future physicians for new care delivery models in an increasingly patient-centric, value-driven health care system.

AMA "Accelerating Change in Medical Education" initiative schools
After more than 80 percent of the medical schools in the country expressed a strong interest in the AMA’s initiative, the following 11 medical schools were selected to participate in the five-year grant program.

Today, these schools comprise a consortium tasked with developing best practices that can be shared and implemented in schools across the country. Over the next four years the AMA will work with these schools on prototyping and disseminating their innovative programs and ideas within the consortium and beyond.

Indiana University School of Medicine
Mayo Medical School
New York University School of Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
University of California – Davis School of Medicine
University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine
University of Michigan Medical School
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Medical School Project Summaries

The AMA-sponsored medical education Learning Environment Study

The Learning Environment Study (LES) is an ongoing multi-year, multi-institutional collaborative research project led, coordinated and sponsored by the AMA that includes 28 medical schools in a study of the medical education undergraduate learning environment, and the role it plays in shaping the values and behaviors of medical students (N = 4,795). The LES uses a prospective, longitudinal, research design employing a set of valid and reliable measures to assess and evaluate: the changes that may occur in student values and behaviors as they progress through their medical school education, and the relationship of the medical education learning environment on student values and behavior.

With three medical schools participating in both the AMA "Accelerating Change in Medical Education" initiative and LES, there is a unique intersection between the two projects. These schools plan on leveraging their historical LES data to use as a baseline to understand how perceptions of the learning environment and other student characteristics may change as their “Accelerating Change in Medical Education” initiative projects evolve.

The AMA is working to leverage both the LES and its "Accelerating Change in Medical Education" initiative to develop a community of medical schools that engage with each other to improve the medical student experience.

Contact Lisette Dunham at Lisette.dunham@ama-assn.org for more information.

Learning Environment Study schools

Boston University School of Medicine
Creighton University School of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University
Indiana University School of Medicine
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University
Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
The Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Tufts University School of Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
University of Calgary
University of California – Irvine School of Medicine
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine
University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Michigan Medical School
University of Minnesota Medical School
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
University of Toledo College of Medicine
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
University of Vermont College of Medicine

The AMA has a long-standing commitment to improving medical education through various leadership groups and initiatives:

AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education National Advisory Panel provides guidance on the development, administration and evaluation of this initiative. Learn about the panel members

AMA Medical Education Department senior staff works with the Accelerating Change in Medical Education National Advisory Panel and other partners to advance this initiative while also providing leadership for the efforts of the AMA Medical Education Department as a whole.

AMA Council on Medical Education formulates policy on medical education by recommending educational policies to the AMA House of Delegates through the AMA Board of Trustees. The council is also responsible for recommending the appointments of representatives to medical education organizations, accrediting bodies and certification boards. Learn more about the AMA Council on Medical Education.

AMA member groups and sections engage members on a variety of issues in medicine. Learn more about these groups, including the AMA Medical Student Section and the AMA Section on Medical Schools.

AMA Wire ® is the AMA’s daily news website with information impacting the medical community. Reading on the go? It’s optimized for mobile. Easily share posts with colleagues or friends and stay on the pulse of developments impacting the medical community. Sign up for AMA Morning Rounds and get robust, daily medical news delivered to your inbox every weekday morning, including daily news published at AMA Wire.

AMA MedEd Update brings you monthly insights on the latest innovations in medical education. This free e-newsletter focuses on news and information related to medical schools, graduate medical education, continuing medical education and more. Read on the go with the e-newsletter’s fresh, new mobile-friendly design.

News about the AMA “Accelerating Change in Medical Education” initiative

Penn State University helping to reshape medical education
Lebanon Daily News (Aug. 17, 2014)

Doctors fight to get med students access to EHRs
Politico Pro (Aug. 15, 2014)

Hershey medical students study the business side of medicine
Patriot News (Aug. 14, 2014)

The drawn-out medical degree New York Times,
“Education Life” section (Aug. 1, 2014)

Medical school curricula changing to align with new trends in care delivery
Michigan Medical Magazine (June 30, 2014)

Back to the future for medical schools: New ideas aim to revolutionize a doctor’s education
NewPublicHealth.org (June 24, 2014)

Innovation HealthJam: What does your physician of the future look like?
MedTech Boston (June 16, 2014)

AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven on changes in America’s health care system
Crain’s Detroit (May 27, 2014)

Disease: The medical challenge of this century about adding life to years
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 23, 2014)

AMA medical education initiative a top ten story of 2013
Medical Practice Insider article (Dec. 30, 2013)

AMA awards $11 million to transform future physician training
To accelerate change in medical education, the AMA is funding 11 innovative medical school proposals to develop and implement future physician training. AMA press release (June 14, 2013)

AMA selects 31 bold medical education proposals to continue to the next phase of $10 million initiative
The AMA has announced that 31 innovative proposals have been selected from the initial pool of 119 applicants to move forward in the AMA's $10 million “Accelerating Change in Medical Education” initiative. AMA press release (March 19, 2013)

Tremendous response to AMA medical education initiative demonstrates strong desire for transformative change
More than 80 percent of medical schools submit proposals to lead innovative, new ideas. AMA press release (Feb. 22, 2013)

AMA announces $10 million initiative to change the way future physicians are trained
The AMA invites medical schools to submit proposals for bold, innovative projects to transform medical education. AMA press release (Jan. 17, 2013)

Conference archive

Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium Meeting – April 7–8, 2014

Accelerating Change in Medical Education Conference – Oct. 4–5, 2013