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HEALTHCARE EDUCATION

Reimagining Residency

AMA’s Next Push in Transforming Physician Training By CINDY SANDERS

In 2013, the American Medical Association announced an ambitious effort to accelerate change in medical education. Starting with 11 founding medical schools on a mission to better prepare physicians to meet the future of medicine, the initiative has now grown to 37 participating schools. Yet, residency training has not mirrored those transformations … until now. The AMA recently launched a fiveyear, $15 million Reimagining Residency grant program to rethink how graduate medical education (GME) could best address the workforce needs of the current and future healthcare system, better support physician well-being and enhance preparedness to practice. It’s the next phase in the AMA’s quest to transform physician training. “When we really looked deeply at the changes being made in medical schools, we realized we’ve brought these now thousands of students through changes in undergraduate medical education (UME) but hadn’t changed residency,” said Susan Skochelak, MD, group vice president for Medical Education with the AMA and the driving force behind efforts to transform

the way physicians learn and train to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving healthcare system. Skochelak said the first cohort of students who benefitted from curricular innovations are now interns. “Each subsequent year, there will be thousands more students coming through these new med school programs,” she pointed out. Skochelak said the concern was there would be an

implicit message that the training they undertook during medical school didn’t really matter if they arrived at residency only to find no disruption in the status quo. “The next logical step is to say it’s a continuum of training and to bring these same principles and concepts of education forward to residency,” explained Skochelak. “We want to make a better handoff – a better connection – from medi-

cal school to residency in terms of learning approach.” She added practitioners must take the important new concepts that are part of health system science and understand how quality, safety and patient-centered care are implemented in daily operations to ensure readiness for practice. Skochelak continued, “We want to support a positive learning environment … not just for students but for faculty and staff, as well.” Building off the successful model used to transform UME, Skochelak said those chosen for the new residency grant funding will join an AMA-convened consortium. “The best way, we’ve proven, to accelerate the change is to bring people together in a community of innovation,” she explained. The group will evaluate successes and lessons learned and work together to broadly disseminate successful initiatives to residency training programs across the country. In late 2018, the AMA announced the new program. At the beginning of this year, the organization put out a call for innovative proposals with a bold vision to promote systemic change in GME with Letters of Intent due Feb. 1, 2019. Last (CONTINUED ON PAGE 16)

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