AMA announces $15M grant initiative to improve residency training

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced a five-year, $15 million grant program that seeks to transform residency training to best address the workforce needs of current and future healthcare systems.

Dubbed the Reimagining Residency Initiative, the grant will fund up to eight “bold and innovative” projects that promote systemic change in residency training and may address critical residency issues such as patient safety and quality improvement.

Specifically, the new grant program will support innovations that provide “meaningful and safe transition” from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME).

“We’re interested in finding better ways to transfer—what is now a very disjointed process—so that when students arrive in their residency program, their team of leaders know about their skills and also know about areas that they need help in, in further developing as professionals in their physician training careers,” AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education Susan E. Skochelak, MD, said in a telephone conference.

Skochelak noted that while modern day healthcare is ever-evolving, graduate medical education and training has largely remained unchanged. Challenges, including structural issues, resource limitations and regulatory concerns impede “bold advances” needed in residency training, she said.

On Jan. 3, 2019, AMA will post a request for proposals (RFP) for the initiative. Applicants will be solicited from US medical schools, GME programs, GME sponsoring institutions, health systems and other organizations associated with GME. AMA will announce award recipients in June 2019, and the funding will be implemented in July 2019.

AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, was quick to note this is a “major priority” for the AMA.

“This new effort will ensure residents are learning the skills they need to hit the ground running as soon as they complete their residencies,” Skochelak said. “By making these changes, we’ll not only help them enhance patient safety but also improve their well-being as they enter the fast-paced, technologically driven modern practice environment.”