This Month's News
Medical education takes center stage at recent AMA meeting
During the recent AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu, medical education was the topic of much discussion. Of note was a joint panel discussion with a number of AMA sections and special groups, "Accelerating Change in Medical Education."
The program, which addressed the AMA's work in this focus area of the AMA strategic plan, was moderated by Susan Skochelak, MD, the AMA's vice president of medical education. Participating in the discussion were featured keynote speaker Jeffrey Gold, MD, chair-elect of the AMA Council on Medical Education and dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Toledo; and panelists Jay Gregory, MD, immediate past chair of the Organized Medical Staff Section; Rachelle Klammer, MD, member-at-large of the Resident and Fellow Section; LeAnne Roberts, chair of the Medical Student Section; and Maria Savoia, MD, chair of the Section on Medical Schools.
Dr. Skochelak noted there's widespread consensus that change is needed in medical education, and that the current structure is an impediment to competency-based learning and the ability to develop flexible, individualized learning plans for each future physician.
She added that the AMA will partner with accredited U.S. medical schools to develop innovations and structural changes to support new education models. Grants will be awarded to medical schools based on their responses to an AMA request for proposal to be issued in January. The RFP will be open to schools seeking funding to support innovations that align with the AMA's initiative.
The keynote speaker and panelists provided food for thought during the session. Following are some notable quotables from the panel discussion:
- "For those of you who really dislike change, you're going to hate being irrelevant." — Dr. Gold.
- "it's not about shortening the time in medical school, but about improving the quality of that time." — Roberts.
- "Sitting in a dark room watching PowerPoint is not how to learn medicine. This is not what adult learning is about." — Dr. Klammer.
- "Maturity and time on task are critical; there's a big difference between a third-year and fourth-year student; just as there is between an intern and a chief resident." — Dr. Savoia.
- "Why change? Our patients, our profession demand it. Some of us are still practicing 20th century medicine in the 21st century." — Dr. Gregory.
In addition to this session, the AMA Section on Medical Schools held an educational program looking at ways the graduate medical education community can address mistreatment of medical students, residents and fellows. This session was a follow-up to a 2011 AMA-convened invitational conference on medical student mistreatment.
Also, a number of reports and resolutions of relevance to medical education were debated and voted upon by AMA delegates during the meeting, as reported in American Medical News. Issues of note included availability of clerkships for students at newly accredited medical schools, closure of residency programs or reductions in program slots due to GME funding cuts, and ensuring that accreditation and certification processes are transparent, timely and efficient.
To learn more, review the preliminary report of actions taken by the AMA House of Delegates on medical education, science and public health issues.