First Medical Students Graduate Under Pioneering, IT-Centric AMA Program

May 23, 2018


Back in 2013, the American Medical Association launched the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, implementing technology-centric curricula in 32 schools with the aim to “close gaps in readiness for practice,” said Susan Skochelak, MD, group vice president of medical education at AMA. This month, the first class of students educated under this pilot program will graduate, ready to take their tech savvy to hospitals and practices nationwide.

At the time of the program’s launch, a poll showed that just 64 percent of medical school programs afforded students hands-on experience with electronic health records (EHRs). Yet in this technology-driven age, where pen-and-paper records have given way to digital information databases for each patient, failing to learn how to document EHRs during training is “comparable to a physician graduating from medical school without learning how to properly use a stethoscope,” said Skochelak.

“When you talk to people who are hiring in the major health systems or you talk to graduates, what they’ll say is they really are not prepared,” Skochelak told Healthcare IT News at the time. “They don’t know how to manage panels of patients; they don’t fully even necessarily know what to do with an EHR.” 

To better prepare medical students, the AMA partnered with the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine to launch a first-of-its-kind EHR training program dubbed the EHR Clinical Learning Platform. The initiative uses actual data from patients at Indianapolis-based Eskenazi Health, enabling students to more realistically care for virtual patients as they familiarize themselves with EHR workflows.

But the consortium didn’t stop with EHR training. Other innovations developed throughout the process include competency-based programs, curricula that fully immerses students in the health care system from day one of medical school, training in physician leadership, education in team care skills and curricula aimed at achieving health equity and increasing diversity in the physician workforce. Along with the new approach comes a new textbook, Health Systems Science, penned in a way that encourages students think about care delivery in terms of quality improvement, patient safety, accountable population health management and social determinants of health.

Today, some 19,000 medical students are studying under the tech-intensive programs tailored for each of the consortium’s 32 schools with $12.5 million in financial from AMA grants. Those students ultimately will provide health care for some 33 million patients nationwide – and they’ll be all the more prepared for the medical industry’s increasingly tech-driven world.

Of course, no amount of technology or tech training will change the way our bodies work. A thorough understanding of the body’s major systems and the ways in which they work together is the sole aim of the innovative WOLFPACC training approach. Our USMLE and COMLEX review courses, along with one-on-one tutoring, can help assure you’ll be ahead of the game in your medical education and career. Call 904-209-3140 to find out more.

ALSO READ: Carle Illinois College of Medicine in Urbana-Champaign the world’s first engineering-based school of medicine.