PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American Medical Association (AMA) is marking five years of progress in its ongoing work to develop bold, innovative ways to improve physician training that can be implemented across medical education. The AMA, along with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, convened its 32 school Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium in Providence, R.I., this week to build on efforts underway to ensure future physicians across the country are prepared to care for patients in the changing health care landscape.

Brown’s Medical School is among this select group of schools that developed a new curriculum as part of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium to reshape medical education nationwide. Through the $1 million grant it received in 2013 to work with the Consortium, Brown created a first-in-the-nation program designed to train physicians who, with a focus on population and public health, can be future leaders in community-based primary care at the local, state or national level. This is an important innovation given that the modern health system will require physicians to think beyond caring for just an individual’s health and take into account the health of a population to improve patient safety and health care quality.

“Since launching this bold effort nearly five years ago, the AMA and our 32-medical school Consortium have made significant progress toward ensuring future physicians are prepared to meet the needs of patients in the modern health system,” said AMA CEO & Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D. “This May, the first medical students to receive full training under the new curricula developed at some Consortium schools will begin to graduate — directly impacting the way that health care is delivered to patients nationwide. During a period of rapid progress, new technology, and changing expectations from government and society, we believe these students will be better equipped to provide care in today’s modern, technology-driven health care environment.”

Launched in 2015, Brown’s new Primary Care-Population Medicine program is helping its students learn how to deliver care that meets the needs of patients in modern health systems—the main objective of “Health Systems Science,” the third pillar of medical education which was identified by the AMA Consortium that should be integrated with the two existing pillars: basic and clinical sciences. Brown was among the 11 founding Consortium schools to formalize the strategy and write a textbook to help physicians navigate the changing landscape of modern health systems, especially as the nation’s health care system moves toward value-based care. The “Health Systems Science” textbook was released in 2016 and is being used by medical schools across the country — including Brown — to ensure future physicians learn about value in health care, patient safety, quality improvement, teamwork and team science, leadership, clinical informatics, population health, socio-ecological determinants of health, health care policy and health care economics.

“The support of the AMA Consortium has been critical to the development and success of our innovative Primary Care-Population Medicine program. In addition, all of our medical students now have instruction in health systems science, helping them to understand the broader context of health care in which they will be practicing. We are excited to welcome the AMA, representatives of the other Consortium schools, and leaders in medical education to Brown and Providence,” said Allan R. Tunkel, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for medical education at the Warren Alpert Medical School.

The AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative in 2013 — providing $11 million in grants to fund major innovations at 11 of the nation’s medical schools, including Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School. Together, these schools formed a Consortium to share best practices with a goal of widely disseminating the new and innovative curricula being developed to other medical schools. The AMA expanded its Consortium in 2015 with grants to an additional 21 schools to develop new curricula that better align undergraduate medical education with the modern health care system. These innovative models are already supporting training for an estimated 19,000 medical students who will one day care for 33 million patients each year — including an estimated 500 medical students in Rhode Island who will one day care for more than 900,000 patients annually.

The AMA will continue to work with more leaders and innovators from medical and health professions education to advance its efforts aimed at accelerating change in medical education to ensure future physicians are prepared to quickly adapt to the changing health care landscape and provide value-based care as soon as they enter practice.

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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.