AMA Backs Innovative Residency Projects With $14.4M in Grants

Ken Terry

June 10, 2019

To improve residency training, the American Medical Association (AMA) is awarding $14.4 million to support eight projects led by medical schools, residency programs, and healthcare systems that oversee graduate medical education (GME). The winners were chosen from more than 300 organizations that submitted more than 250 letters of intent.

"After establishing a framework for creating the medical schools of the future, the AMA is now supporting innovation projects that will better align residency training with the evolving needs of patients and communities, as well as the workforce needs of the current and future health care system," said AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, in a news release. "As the health care landscape and technology rapidly evolve, the AMA will continue working with its community of innovation to drive the future of medicine by supporting significant redesign in physician training."

The AMA will provide $1.8 million over 5 years to fund each of the winning projects. In addition, it will give planning grants of $50,000 each to three other applicants that did not make the final cut.

Summarizing the winning applications, the AMA said that some of the projects will create new curricula to address workforce shortages and social determinants of health. Others will build upon the innovations and concepts developed and implemented in medical schools during the past 6 years by the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, which includes 37 medical schools.

These projects will include the implementation of competency-based programs and the incorporation of "health systems science" into residency training.

Here are descriptions of the award-winning applications:

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine will implement methods to measure modifiable attributes of the training environment that may contribute to burnout among residents.

  • Maine Medical Center will redesign the clinical learning environment to prepare residents for interprofessional, team-based care.

  • Montefiore Health System will develop, implement, and evaluate a multipronged curriculum in social determinants of health in four community-based primary care training programs — family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, and pediatrics.

  • New York University School of Medicine will enhance the transition from medical school to residency through coaching, individualized pathways, and enhanced assessment tools.

  • Oregon Health and Science University and the University of California, Davis, will collaborate with 10 healthcare systems, 10 institutional sponsors, and a network of federally qualified health centers to address workforce shortages in rural, tribal, urban, and other disadvantaged communities between Sacramento, California, and Portland, Oregon.

  • Partners HealthCare System, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital will oversee a project that will integrate "time-variable" models for advancement in residency training. Residents who achieve competency before the standard duration of training will transition early to independent practice at their training institution until the original date of graduation.

  • The University of North Carolina School of Medicine will expand the geographic and specialty reach of its residency readiness program. In addition, the school will develop and implement a health systems science curriculum for GME, as well as competency-based assessment tools.

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center will collaborate to address professional identity development in GME. The model will train residents in different physician personae, such as researcher or advocate, and use those identities to support their career development.

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