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IU School of Medicine, AMA mark major milestone in reshaping medical education nationwide


INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been a year since the American Medical Association awarded $1 million to Indiana University School of Medicine as part of the ambitious $11 million initiative Accelerating Change in Medical Education. Last month, leaders from IU and the other 10 medical schools selected for the grant convened at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine to embark on the next phase to help reshape the way medical students are educated in this country.

“There has been a universal call to transform the teaching of medicine to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, which is why the AMA launched the Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative,” said Robert M. Wah, M.D., president, American Medical Association. “The AMA is proud to be leading the charge to answer this call. Over the last year, we have made significant progress in transforming curriculum at these medical schools that can and will help close the gaps that currently exist between how medical students are trained and the way health care is delivered in this country now and in the future.”

IU School of Medicine was among 11 medical schools selected based on their bold and innovative ideas to reshape medical education. In the past year, Indiana has made significant progress in its efforts to create a virtual health care system and a teaching electronic medical record (tEMR) to ensure competencies in system-, team- and population-based health care, as well as clinical decision-making.

With the enthusiastic support of Eskenazi Health, the team from the Regenstrief Institute — the IU School of Medicine’s partner in the Accelerating Change initiative — has adapted Eskenazi Health’s existing EMR into a stand alone educational resource that will serve as a teaching platform for IU medical students. To date, patient cases for the first one-third of the curriculum have been identified, and the tEMR entries are being constructed through de-identification of prior patient data. The first phase of activities related to the grant will include teaching and learning about health care finance, access to care, quality improvement, and health care disparities.  IU is also developing quality and systems coaches—faculty educated in current health systems practice with expertise in the tEMR—through an innovative faculty development program.

“The IU School of Medicine and its partner, the Regenstrief Institute, have long been nationally recognized leaders in medical informatics,” said Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for university clinical affairs and dean of the IU School of Medicine. “We are honored to build on this strength to transform medical education at IU and nationwide, in cooperation with the AMA and the 10 other medical schools selected for AMA funding.”

Leaders from IU School of Medicine shared this progress with the 10 other selected schools during the meeting at Vanderbilt. The meeting is part of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative’s learning consortium that was established to ensure the 11 selected schools share best practices and ideas for future implementation of their programs in medical schools across the country. Over the next four years, the AMA will continue to track, gather data and report on the progress of the medical schools’ collective work in order to identify and widely disseminate the best models for transformative educational change.

“Each school, including Indiana University, has taken major steps forward to advance their grant projects and, collectively, we have made great strides in moving the needle toward reshaping medical education on a national level,” said Susan Skochelak, M.D., M.P.H., AMA group vice president for medical education. “These efforts will help propel medical education into the 21st century and ultimately improve care and outcomes for patients.”  

As part of the consortium, IU School of Medicine is working with these 11 schools to reshape medical education across the country. Some of the other schools’ projects include leading-edge educational models that allow medical students to gain experience within the health care system from day one of medical school, new curriculum that gives students with prior health care experience an opportunity to progress through medical school based on individual competency, classes designed to boost physician leadership and team care skills, and courses that ensure medical students are trained on the use of electronic health records. Each school’s grant project can be tracked at

“Through this bold and collaborative effort, the AMA is at the forefront of creating the medical school of the future and ensuring medical students are provided the training needed to become our physicians of the future,” said Dr. Skochelak.

About the AMA

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America.