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AMA continues innovative initiative to reshape medical education at nation’s medical schools

Leaders and students from top medical schools convene at Oregon Health & Science University to expand efforts to reshape medical education nationwide as the first class of OHSU medical students gets ready to complete their first year of coursework in the newly implemented YOUR M.D. curriculum

Students at leading medical schools across the country will soon be among the first to complete newly implemented curricula developed in conjunction with the American Medical Association’s (AMA) innovative work with 11 of the nation’s top medical schools to reshape medical education in the United States.

As part of the AMA’s current efforts to ensure medical students are prepared to practice in the evolving health care environment, the organization convened leaders and students from each of the schools at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to continue closing the gaps between the way physicians are currently trained and how health care is delivered.

“The AMA recognizes that reshaping medical education takes a village, requiring many stakeholders to come together to get it right,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D., OHSU class of 1983. “That’s why we continue to expand our efforts to reach and collaborate with more medical schools and medical education innovators to ensure we are taking the right steps to prepare tomorrow’s physicians to care for patients in our increasingly diverse, patient-centered, value-driven health care system.”

The inaugural class of medical students at OHSU is about to complete the first year of the school’s new curriculum, YOUR M.D., introduced last fall thanks in part to a $1 million grant from the AMA as part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. The OHSU School of Medicine curriculum will be competency based, with individualized learning plans. It teaches medical students how to optimally utilize data and information systems to care for patients and populations in the digital era. The curriculum will also enable students to advance through medical school after successfully mastering defined milestones through their individualized learning plans, which means some students will eventually be able to complete medical school in less than four years.

During the two-day meeting at OHSU, leaders from the 11 medical schools embarked on the next phase of their collective work. They hosted a “live” town hall meeting with medical students from each participating school, including OHSU students, to share their unique and personal insights on how the curriculum changes impact their medical education experience.

“We want to ensure that our physicians are optimally prepared to hit the ground running upon graduating from medical school,” said Susan Skochelak, M.D., M.P.H., AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education. “We believe that students who complete these new programs will become physicians who are better equipped to quickly adapt to the changing health care landscape and make a significant impact on the way health care is delivered in this country.”

“Over the past 10 years, national studies have shown consensus for change,” said George Mejicano, M.D., M.S., Professor of Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Education in the OHSU School of Medicine. “We have cutting-edge technology, portable health care data, global online collaboration, dramatic new research discoveries, personalized medicine and comprehensive health care reform to support a culture of innovation. It’s time for medical school curricula to catch up.”

Each of the11 medical schools that received funding as part of the AMA’s $11 million Accelerating Change in Medical Education grant is serving as part of a consortium—sharing innovative ideas and best practices on new programs and curriculum that can quickly be spread to medical schools across the country.

Over the next four years, the AMA will continue to track, gather data and report on the progress of the medical schools’ collective work in order to identify and widely disseminate the best models for transformative educational change. The 11 medical schools participating in the symposium at OHSU and their projects can be found at

Additionally, the AMA continues to develop ways to collaborate with and incorporate feedback from additional medical schools to further the robust efforts underway to transform medical education nationwide.

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