Improve GME

Project to remake residency training gets widespread interest

Brendan Murphy , Senior News Writer

More than 300 entities with oversight of graduate medical education (GME) in the United States contributed to proposals for projects that meet the major aims of the AMA’s Reimagining Residency Initiative, a five-year, $15 million grant program.  

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The program’s goal is to transform residency training to best address the workforce needs of the nation’s current and future health care system. 

“We experienced an overwhelmingly positive response to the Reimagining Residency Request for Proposals,” said Susan E. Skochelak, MD, the AMA’s Chief Academic Officer and Group Vice President, Medical Education. “The letters of intent we received were highly innovative and signify the strong interest of the medical education community to transform graduate medical education to meet the needs of our rapidly changing health care environment.” 

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Applications came in response to a request for proposals that the AMA released on Jan. 3. The Association called for interested institutions to submit letters of intent describing a project that addressed at least one of the initiative’s three aims.  

Of the proposals received, nearly 60 percent focused on the development of skills during residency to enhance readiness for practice. The two other areas of focus—modifying the learning environment to support well-being in training and preparation for the transition to residency from medical school—each made up about 20 percent of the proposals. 

Some other facts of note among the proposal submissions: 

  • In total, 252 letters of intent were submitted. When taking into account projects that involved collaboration, a total of 302 institutions were involved in the proposed projects.  
  • More than 130 medical schools submitted proposals for projects related to residency. That group included 94 percent of the medical schools in the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education consortium, an initiative that launched in 2013 with a focus on transforming undergraduate medical education (UME).  
  • More than 170 institutions that were not medical schools—a group that included specialty societies, associations and health systems—submitted proposals. 
  • The applicants were spread throughout the country. Thirty-one percent of them came from the Northeast—every state east of Ohio and north of the Virginias.

The GME initiative follows a similar pattern to the initial announcement of the AMA’s efforts to transform UME. When that program was announced in 2013, 82 percent of the nation's 141 accredited medical schools submitted letters of intent outlining their grant proposals.

The success of that initiative—involving $12.5 million in grants awarded to 32 medical schools and impacting 19,000 medical students, who will one day care for an estimated 33 million patients each year—prompted the AMA to now reimagine residency training.

The next step in the process will be selecting approximately 30 letters of intent to invite to submit full proposals. Those proposals will be reviewed by AMA staff who are experienced in medical education and members of the GME National Advisory Panel, a group of health system leaders and stakeholders in residency training. Ultimately, eight applicants will be awarded grants. The successful applicants and their projects are expected to be announced at the 2019 AMA Annual Meeting.