AAMC Calls for Medical Education Revamp

The Association of American Medical Colleges is calling for a restructuring of the way America trains its future physicians.

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is calling for a restructuring of the way America trains its future physicians.

The AAMC has unveiled a 5-year plan titled “Optimizing Graduate Medical Education,” which offers a 3-pronged approach to strengthening the country’s medical education.

“While America’s system of graduate medical education is the best in the world, the Optimizing GME initiative will tackle the improvements essential to ensure that tomorrow’s physicians and physician scientists are well-prepared to care for patients in the nation’s evolving health care system,” said association president and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, in a press release.

The 3 focus areas of AAMC’s plan are: Investing in Future Physicians; Optimizing the Environment for Learning, Care, and Discovery; and Preparing the Physician and Physician Scientist for the 21st Century.

In the first category, AAMC calls for greater funding for GME, new accountability metrics to judge the effectiveness of medical training, and an effort to steer residency training positions to those areas where the greatest need exists. The association estimates that by the year 2025, the physician shortage in the US will top 130,000.

The second broad goal—optimizing the learning environment for medical students—is a call to define the critical elements for an optimal learning environment and identify the best practices for fostering learning, care, and discovery among students.

Finally, the group hopes to better-prepare future physicians for the changing healthcare industry by standardizing expectations for residents and new practitioners, expanding competency-based learning activities, and developing new educational models.

The implementation of the plan will be led by AAMC Chief Medical Education Officer Maryellen E. Gusic, MD, and AAMC Chief Health Care Officer Janis M. Orlowski, MD. The two will work with other experts in the field to bring about the changes identified in the report.

“Health care is changing at a rapid rate, and this exciting, challenging environment demands new approaches,” Kirch said. “…This road map—a comprehensive and sustained plan—will further align medical education with current and future health care and societal needs to improve the health of all.”

A copy of the report is available here.

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