ATLANTA — The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced five additional medical schools are joining its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, bringing the total number of medical schools in the consortium to 37. These added schools join top U.S. medical schools, including the Atlanta-based Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory University School of Medicine, as part of the AMA’s work to drive the future of medicine by reimagining medical education and transforming the way future physicians are trained in Georgia and nationwide.

“For nearly six years, the AMA has been working with some of the nation’s leading medical schools to create the medical schools of the future. Working together, we have already made significant progress toward preparing future physicians to provide care in the modern, technology-driven health care environment,” said AMA President-elect Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “Knowing that our work is far from complete, we are excited to welcome five additional medical schools to our community as we promote innovation to tackle the biggest challenges in health care. This work will directly impact the way that health care will soon be delivered to patients in Georgia and across the country.”

The five new consortium member medical schools include:

  • Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, Calif.)
  • University of California, Irvine School of Medicine (Irvine, Calif.)
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
  • University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine (Richmond, Va.)

As part of a 3-year commitment, the five new consortium medical schools will work with the existing 32 member medical schools to reimagine medical education and develop new—and expand upon existing—education innovations that can be shared among medical schools nationwide. The projects announced today include curricular innovations focused on equipping physicians to help patients better navigate digital health technology, improving student well-being, using virtual reality technology to address social determinants of health and improve the quality of patient care.

The five new consortium schools also received AMA grants through the inaugural Accelerating Change in Medical Education Innovation Grant Program. That award aims to stimulate research, new innovations or dissemination of existing innovations in medical education to train future physicians to succeed in the rapidly evolving health care system. Submissions for the second annual Innovation Grant Program are being accepted through April 21 and medical schools and residency programs are encouraged to apply. The winners will be announced later this summer. 

During a two-day meeting held this week in Atlanta, the consortium schools worked toward developing a roadmap that medical schools can use to make sure they are providing an environment where physicians-in-training from diverse backgrounds will thrive. This is part of the larger effort to ensure medical schools are building a diverse pipeline of physicians whose racial and ethnic backgrounds reflect the actual needs of patients. Studies have shown that patients prefer receiving health care from and have better health outcomes when they can relate to, understand, and share similar backgrounds with their doctors.

At the meeting, Atlanta-based Morehouse and Emory Schools of Medicine showcased efforts underway to develop bold innovations aimed at reimagining physician training. Specifically, Morehouse created a curriculum that allows students to engage with local underserved populations during all four years of medical school, and Emory developed standardized education in quality improvement and patient safety—innovative models that are already supporting an estimated 1,000 medical students in Georgia who will one day care for more than 1.7 million patients annually.

“Increasing diversity in the physician workforce is a large part of the equation to ensuring physicians are meeting the needs of patients in today’s health system. While minority communities are growing much more quickly in the U.S. than the majority population, minorities continue to be a very small percentage of the physician workforce,” said Dr. Harris. “Working together to ensure there are enough physicians being trained to better reflect patients in the communities they serve will help address the mismatch that currently exists and improve patient outcomes.”

The AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative in 2013 to bridge the gaps that exist between how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered in the modern health care system. Since then the AMA has awarded $14.1 million in grants to 37 of the nation’s leading medical schools to develop innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country. With the five added schools, the newly expanded 37-school consortium will support training for an estimated 24,000 medical students who will one day care for 41 million patients each year.

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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.