Physician Shortages, Streamlining Medical Education Addressed by AMA Policy

The American Medical Association (AMA) has voted at its annual meeting to adopt a new policy supporting state legislation to increase graduate medical education (GME) funding that will increase the number of physicians trained to meet workforce needs in undersupplied specialties and underserved areas; and advocating for innovative pilot programs that will increase the number of GME positions and create quality health outcomes.

According to the AMA, the new policy will: (1) encourage the federal and state governments, along with private payers, to adequately fund GME and increase the number of residency slots available to graduating medical students; (2) address the current and changing needs of the physician workforce; (3) ensure all patients have access to quality care; (4) address the growth of team-based care models; and (5) encourage the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to develop training methods to reward physicians who are a part of patient-centered care teams.

Streamlining Medical Training

The AMA also called for a more consistent and streamlined process for students to move from medical school to residency. The AMA is encouraging the development of a common set of competencies that medical students must demonstrate to advance to the next level of their training and into practice, rather than the time-based model that medical schools currently use.

AMA Initiative

In fact, in 2013, the AMA launched an $11 million competitive grant initiative entitled “Accelerating Change in Medical Education,” designed to create the medical school of the future.

The medical schools chosen to participate in the initiative are: Indiana University School of Medicine; Mayo Medical School; New York University School of Medicine; Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University; The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; University of California, Davis School of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; University of Michigan Medical School; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Each school will receive $1 million over five years to fund educational innovations. A key component of the initiative has been the establishment of a learning consortium among the selected schools to disseminate best practices to other medical schools. The initiative had its first conference in October 2013 and met again in April 2014.