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AMA Announces New Resources to Train Future Physicians on Health Systems Science


Building on its efforts to ensure future physicians are well-prepared to effectively deliver care to patients within modern health systems, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced two new resources aimed at integrating Health Systems Science into physician training. Both new resources--the Health Systems Science Review book and AMA Health Systems Science Learning Series education modules--will help physicians-in-training enter practice with a better understanding of how health care is delivered, how health care professionals work together to deliver care, and how they can improve patient care and health care.

"Through our work over the past six years to reimagine medical education, we've seen first-hand that physician training has not always kept pace with the changing way that health care is being delivered within health systems. Now, as more medical schools are incorporating Health Systems Science into their curricula, the AMA is offering tools to students and instructors to assess their competencies in this new subject," said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. "With these new resources, the AMA is driving the future of medicine; we are committed to developing and disseminating additional resources to ensure tomorrow's physicians are prepared to quickly adapt to the changing health care landscape and provide value-based care as soon as they enter practice."

The AMA's new Health Systems Science Review book, published by Elsevier, is the first study tool of its kind to help physicians-in-training and other health professionals, as well as their instructors, evaluate competencies in Health Systems Science and learners' readiness for navigating modern health systems. This includes competencies in value-based care, health care delivery and processes, health care policy and economics, clinical informatics and technology, social determinants of health, patient safety, teamwork and collaboration, and systems thinking.

The review book was developed to complement the AMA's Health Systems Science textbook, which was published in 2016 as a formal method for medical and health professions schools to teach students how to deliver care that meets the needs of patients in modern health systems. To date, the Health Systems Science textbook has sold more than 4,000 copies worldwide and is being used in more than 30 medical and health professions schools, and residency programs. The second edition of the textbook is currently in development and is expected to be published in 2020. The Health Systems Science Review book and textbook are both available for purchase at the AMA Bookstore.

Additionally, the AMA today announced a series of free, online education modules for students to help them develop competencies in Health Systems Science. The first six modules in the new Health Systems Science Learning Series are available for free through the AMA Ed HubTM. The six modules cover the following topics: Health Care Delivery Systems, Patient Safety, Population Health, Quality Improvement, Social Determinants of Health, and Systems Thinking. The AMA plans to offer an additional seven modules as part of the series, which are scheduled to be released in early 2020. Although these were created to support the education of students, the modules will also be useful to residents and practicing physicians who did not receive this foundation as part of their training.

In 2016, Health Systems Science emerged as one of the major innovations developed through the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. Health Systems Science is now considered the third pillar of medical education that should be integrated with the two existing pillars--basic and clinical sciences--and is being incorporated into medical education curricula and exams across the country. To help ensure medical and other health professions students are proficient in Health Systems Science, the AMA is currently working with the National Board of Medical Examiners to develop a standardized exam, which is expected to be available later this year.

The AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative in 2013 to bridge the gaps that exist between how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered in the modern health care system. Since then the AMA has awarded $14.1 million in grants to 37 of the nation's leading medical schools to develop innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country. Combining their knowledge, expertise and creativity, these 37 schools are working together as a consortium to share ideas and reinvent how medical students are taught and trained. This work is already supporting training for an estimated 24,000 medical students who will one day care for 41 million patients each year.

The AMA will continue its efforts to drive the future of medicine by reimagining medical education, training and lifelong learning--ensuring physicians are better equipped to provide care in the rapidly-evolving health care environment.


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