Statement attributable to:
David O. Barbe, M.D.
President, American Medical Association

“As AMA President, it is my absolute pleasure to congratulate the 2018 graduating class of the Penn State College of Medicine. These men and women are among the very first medical school graduates to receive their training as part of our ongoing state-of-the-art effort aimed at transforming the way physicians are trained nationwide. Because of this innovative new curriculum, these future physicians will be better equipped to provide care in a practice environment of rapid progress, new technology, and changing expectations both from government and society.

“As physicians, we are bonded by our shared desire to help our patients, and I wish the class of 2018 much success as they pursue that passion. We look forward to continuing our efforts with Penn State College of Medicine and other medical schools throughout the country to accelerate change in medical education to ensure that even more future physicians learn about the newest technologies, health care reforms and scientific discoveries that continue to alter what physicians need to know to practice in modern health care systems.”

Through the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, Penn State College of Medicine has been working with 32 of the country’s leading medical schools over the last five years to develop innovative curricula that are currently being shared throughout the country. In 2013, Penn State was awarded a $1 million AMA grant and selected to join the AMA Consortium because of its bold and innovative ideas, particularly in collaborating with its health system leaders to design a new curriculum to meet the needs of the health system.

Penn State’s “Systems Navigation Curriculum,” which embeds first-year medical students working as patient navigators in clinical sites throughout central Pennsylvania, was created to ensure students learn not only the basic and clinical sciences, but also health systems science. This is an important innovation given that the majority of medical students still receive their training in hospital settings despite the fact that the majority of patients are now being cared for in out-patient settings to treat chronic conditions. The curriculum has been adopted by and is in use at four other medical schools, including Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Additionally, students at Penn State College of Medicine are among the first in the nation to graduate with training received through the AMA’s “Health Systems Science” textbook. The textbook was developed by the AMA Consortium to help students learn how to navigate the changing landscape of modern health systems 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 currently being used in 14 medical schools across the country, including seven medical schools that are not part of the AMA consortium.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.