Innovative Strategies for Transforming the Education of Physicians, ISTEP
The AMA's Innovative Strategies for Transforming the Education of Physicians (ISTEP), which comprises 40 medical schools nationwide, is a unique medical education research collaborative that brings together individuals and institutions from across the continuum of physician learning. This research will help lead to needed reforms in physician education—and better care for patients.
In 2010, ISTEP initiated a longitudinal prospective study of the learning environment in medical schools from across the US. This study, which now comprises 29 medical schools and 4,000 students, seeks to gauge the relationship and interaction between the educational climate of these medical schools and the development of professional attributes among students as they become physicians.
Past studies that have sought to examine the learning environment and physician professionalism relied on anecdotal data or single point-in-time assessments or were hampered by small sample sizes that limited the relevance of the results. ISTEP’s statistical rigor, longitudinal approach and large number of participants should guarantee significant results that can be generalized to all medical schools and students.