The partnership between the AMA and 32 of the country’s leading medical schools aimed at creating physicians equipped to flourish in tomorrow’s health care environment has yielded positive results. And the work of the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium is just beginning.

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After an initial five-year commitment from the consortium’s 11 founding members in 2013, 21 schools joined the group in 2016. The AMA and its partner institutions recently committed to spending three additional years on projects that will shape the medical school of the future.

Newly proposed consortium projects include curricular innovations focused on improving student well-being, addressing social determinants of health, improving the quality of care and enhancing patient safety.

“Our consortium of medical schools has been an invigorating and productive community of innovation over the past five years. Knowing that our work to transform medical education is far from finished, the AMA is excited to continue to foster this environment where individuals and institutions can learn from each other and innovate,” said AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD.

“This next phase of work will allow consortium schools to continue to explore new concepts and create new solutions for medical education—impacting the national direction of medical education and better preparing all of our future physicians for practice in the continually changing health care environment.”

The consortium schools also will continue projects on:

  • Competency-based programs.
  • Teaching the electronic health record.
  • Curricula that allow medical students to be totally immersed in training in physician leadership.
  • Education in team care skills.
  • Curricula to help achieve health equity and increase diversity in the physician workforce.

Health systems science—the study of how care is delivered on a large scale—will remain at the core of nearly every project member schools conduct. That requires schools to continue to immerse trainees within the health care system from day one of medical school.

The AMA’s Health Systems Science textbook was developed by the consortium to help students learn how to navigate the changing landscape when they enter practice, especially as the nation’s health care system moves toward value-based care. The textbook was released in 2016 and is being used in at least 21 medical schools across the country, including 11 medical schools that are not part of the AMA consortium. It is also in use in nursing and physician assistant programs as well as residencies.

The consortium’s innovative models are already supporting training for an estimated 19,000 medical students who will one day care for 33 million patients each year. The continuation of this work offers an opportunity to spread those concepts even further.

The AMA plans to expand the consortium and invite other medical schools to collaborate with it in the future. As part of the AMA’s commitment to improving physician training across the continuum of medical education, the Association will also soon announce a new effort aimed at ensuring that the changes being made to medical school training will offer students a seamless transition into residency.

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