CHICAGO — Furthering its work to ensure future physicians are well-equipped to deliver care to patients within modern health systems, the American Medical Association (AMA) today announced a new effort aimed at training more future physicians in Health Systems Science. The AMA’s new Health Systems Science Scholars Program will provide select medical school and residency program faculty with the resources and coaching they need to design, implement and evaluate Health Systems Science curricula at their institutions.

“The AMA is committed to ensuring all future physicians are ready to enter practice with a better understanding of how health care is delivered, how health care professionals work together to deliver care, and how they can improve patient care and health care delivery in modern health systems. This is the latest step toward achieving that goal,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “We will continue to work with our community of innovation to develop and share additional resources and best practices to help prepare our future physicians to deliver care that meets the needs of modern patients on their first day in practice. This work will move the U.S. health system to improve patient experiences, improve population health, and reduce health care costs.”

During the 12-month program, faculty members—selected through a competitive application process—representing 38 medical schools and residency programs across the country will receive resources and individual coaching and mentorship from nationally known experts in Health Systems Science. Over the course of the year, each scholar will complete a curriculum project that their institution can use to integrate Health Systems Science into physician training, attend a two-day faculty-development workshop, participate in webinars, and meet with a designated mentor.

The Scholars Program is part of the newly formed AMA Health Systems Science Academy. In addition to providing faculty development and curricular resources to teach Health Systems Science, the academy serves as a community for national medical educators and health care leaders to work together on an ongoing basis to advance the field. Scholars who complete the program will join the Academy. The Scholars program will be held annually and those interested in next year’s program will be able to submit applications beginning in summer 2020.

Health Systems Science emerged in 2016 as one of the major innovations developed through the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, and is now considered the third pillar of medical education that should be integrated with the two historic pillars—basic and clinical sciences. The AMA has developed numerous resources to teach Health Systems Science, including the AMA’s Health Systems Science textbook. To date, the textbook has sold more than 5,000 copies worldwide and is being used in more than 30 medical and health professions schools and residency programs. The second edition of the textbook is currently in development and is expected to be published in 2020.

Most recently, the AMA published its new Health Systems Science Review book—the first study tool of its kind—to help physicians-in-training and other health professionals, as well as their instructors, evaluate competencies in Health Systems Science and learners’ readiness for navigating modern health systems. This includes competencies in the value of health care, medical economics and health care policy. The AMA also offers a series of free, online education modules—called the Health Systems Science Learning Series—for students to help them develop competencies in Health Systems Science. The series is available on the AMA Ed Hub™.

Additionally, the AMA recently collaborated with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to develop a standardized exam aimed at assessing medical student readiness for residency in Health Systems Science. The exam is free for all medical schools through June 30, 2020. More information about the exam, including availability, content, purpose, length, cost, score reporting and research components, is available in the following documents: “HSS At-A-Glance” (PDF) and FAQ (PDF).

The AMA will continue its efforts to drive the future of medicine by reimagining medical education, training and lifelong learning—ensuring physicians are better equipped to provide care in the rapidly-evolving health care environment.


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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.