AMA moves ahead with med ed revamp

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The American Medical Association (AMA) voted in June to move ahead with Phase II of its Initiative to Transform Medical Education (ITME).

The plan aims to change the entire continuum of medical education, including CME.
Phase I involved identifying problem areas or gaps in the current education of physicians. The next step calls for a 100-person working group to meet in September to recommend ways to fill those gaps. AMA intends to collaborate with other organizations that are important in physician education.

“We expect that [the initiative] will be likely to emphasize point-of-care learning and quality improvement activities in the practice,” said Modena Wilson, MD, senior VP, professional standards at AMA.

Some of the education gaps the group outlined included physician preparation to diagnose and treat problems in their own healthcare organizations and in healthcare systems, serving as advocates for patients and losing altruism and the caring aspect of medicine as they progress through training.

Later this year, the group is slated to provide a draft proposal outlining potential changes to the current system and their perceived impact and feasibility.

ITME stems from a 2002 AMA Council on Medical Education report calling for reforming the American medical-education system. Its goal is that AMA “should assume a leadership role.” One rationale for ITME is to integrate the three stages of education—medical school, residency and CME, which AMA calls continuing physician professional development (CPPD)—to make it a continuum of lifelong learning.

“Ideally, a physician would develop an individual learning plan based on continual self-assessment of needs,” Wilson said.

While the specific outcome of September's meeting is unknown, Wilson said she expects the working group to address some of the current content gaps.

“Strategies will be formulated at that time,” she said, adding that point-of-care learning—practice-based education that takes place in support of specific patient care—and quality improvement should figure in the group's roadmap.

“What we want to achieve for the physician is ongoing assessment of his or her practice, and that requires measuring performance and improving it,” Wilson said.
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