AMA Wire

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Special Feature

Transformation of medical education set to begin with 11 schools

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

The AMA and 11 medical schools will be leading the transformation of medical education over the next five years through 11 bold, innovative projects announced last week. The projects are funded by $11 million in grants through the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative.

While each school will pursue a unique model to transform medical education, the projects share a number of underlying goals and themes. The three main goals for all of the schools are:

  • Closing the gap between medical education and the practice of medicine in the 21st century.
  • Developing life-long learning skills, including those around health IT.
  • Creating new methods for medical education, such as measuring progress by competency rather than time.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and University of California—San Francisco School of Medicine, for instance, are seeking to close the gap by embedding medical students into the health care system from the first day of medical school.

"Medical education is part of the health care delivery system," Bonnie Miller, MD, senior associate dean for health sciences education at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said during a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. "We want to put the structure around the idea that students are meaningful contributors to our health care system."

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University plans to foster interprofessional skills and otherwise prepare students to lead health care teams that drive systems-based health care transformation.

Elizabeth Baxley, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, said the school's aim is to hard-wire a system-wide culture change.

Successfully implementing their project "really would be a game-changer for us—and more importantly, for the patients our graduates serve," Dr. Baxley said.

Many of the schools—including NYU School of Medicine and Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine—are planning to restructure their curriculum in a way that emphasizes the development of student competency and incorporates intensive use of health IT.

At Indiana University School of Medicine, this will take the form of a "virtual health care system," in which students will learn skills for clinical decision-making, population health care and team-based care. Students will have access to teaching electronic health records with de-identified patient data to facilitate realistic experiences.

The 11 schools will identify best practices for medical education transformation and rapidly disseminate their insights to the nation's medical schools through an AMA learning consortium, in which each of the schools will participate throughout the five-year life of the grants.

The recipients "will help identify changes in medical education that will enable students to thrive in the evolving health care environment," AMA Immediate-past President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said when announcing the grant recipients. "Ultimately, our goal is to showcase successful innovations and promote their adoption in medical schools across the country."