Med schools accelerate change

Medical schools were listening when the American Medical Association (AMA) gave word of its “Accelerating Change in Medical Education” campaign — essentially a $10 million vow to alter physician training for the better via proposal partnerships with the nation’s top educators — and are eager to begin.

According to the AMA, the education sector came in 115 (out of 141) accredited medical schools strong, making for a proposed interest figure just upwards of 80 percent. What’s more, the response came from across school specialties from highly ranked educational research facilities, state-supported and community-based institutions and even newly Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME)-accredited schools (those given their stripes within the last five years).

“The AMA is encouraged by this tremendous response,” said James L. Madara, MD, AMA CEO/EVP, in a prepared statement. “It’s a clear sign that medical schools are eager and ready to implement the transformative changes needed to respond to the evolving medical environment and the future needs of patients.”

Proposals will be reviewed by AMA representatives and qualified experts outside the organization, then approximately 20-30 propositions will be selected by mid-March to be expanded into full-length entries. Established criteria — along the lines of the level of innovation and potential impact offered by proposal, the strength of the idea and the design and the likelihood that other schools could implement the new innovations — will be employed when deciding the 8-10 final awardees of the $10 million grant. Winner announcements will be made at the AMA’s June semi-annual policymaking meeting in Chicago.

The AMA describes the intent of the grant initiative as such: “As part of its efforts to accelerate change in medical education, the AMA will provide $10 million to fund and further the educational innovations envisioned by the grant awardees that will shape the way we train future physicians. The intent of this initiative is to facilitate bold structural change over five years at each selected school to support a significant redesign of undergraduate medical education. A critical component of the AMA’s initiative will be to also establish a learning collaborative with the selected schools and guide the evaluation of the projects to rapidly and effectively disseminate best practices to other medical and health profession schools.”

 “The AMA is committed to accelerating change in medical education to better align education outcomes with the changing needs of our healthcare system,” concluded AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD. “We look forward to working with medical schools to develop innovative new education models that can be successfully duplicated in institutions across the country.”

Find more information regarding the grant initiative and its progress here.