Improve GME

Residents: How would you transform GME?

Now that the consortium of schools in the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative are making transformative improvements to undergraduate medical education (UME), it’s time to move onto graduate medical education (GME)—and input from residents is crucial to the process.

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“What’s happening in UME is spreading to GME, and vice versa, so the line between the two is really blurring,” Susan Skochelak, MD, AMA group vice president of medical education (pictured left), said at a special session for residents and fellows during the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting. “You’re leaders already, you’re leaders in the system you’re working in. And all the things you see, all the things that you wish for—you can contribute that to the national dialogue.”

Dr. Skochelak gave residents an update on the AMA’s progress in medical education transformation, discussing how the consortium has spent the last year developing and implementing new ideas to change the way future physicians are trained. The schools are working on things like competency-based assessment, incorporating systems-based practice and team-based care teachings into curriculum, and focusing on diversity and health care disparities. Using new techniques and technologies, the schools hope to create adaptive, lifelong learners.

None of these changes will happen in a vacuum, Dr. Skochelak said. Any change at the undergraduate level will affect residency programs as well.

For example, if UME can be competency-based, and students can progress at their own rate through school and potentially graduate early, what happens with timing of the Match? Would med school graduates need to wait until July to start residency, or could they start at different points in the year?

“The answer’s not there right now, but we do have to start asking the questions,” Dr. Skochelak said.

Residents at the session shared what they believe to be challenges, including:

  • More education in business and economics at the UME level
  • New ideas for decreasing the amount of paperwork residents must complete during their work or training for how to do this more efficiently
  • How to standardize assessment, given that UME programs could change dramatically

The AMA’s consortium will spend the next year developing ways to involve GME in its work.

Further, AMA policy calls on the association to work with key external stakeholders, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and National Resident Matching Program, to investigate the continuum of medical education through development of pilot projects. Read more in the AMA Council on Medical Education’s report (log in).

Share your ideas to transform residency training: Post your comments below at AMA Wire® or on the AMA Resident and Fellow Section Facebook page.