AMA launches new program for health systems training

The American Medical Association launched a new training program that aims to train future physicians to be better equipped in modern health systems through its Health Systems Science Scholars Program.

The program will provide some medical school and residency faculty with resources and coaching to design, implementation and evaluate health systems science curricula at their institutions. The AMA identified health systems science as a major innovation developed through the association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.

The Health Systems Science Scholars Program is part of the newly formed AMA Health Systems Science Academy, which serves as a community for national medical educators and healthcare leaders to advance the field. Health systems science now considered to be the third pillar of medical education that should be integrated with the other two, basic and clinical sciences.

“The AMA is committed to ensuring all future physicians are ready to enter practice with a better understanding of how healthcare is delivered, how healthcare professionals work together to deliver care and how they can improve patient care and healthcare delivery in modern health systems,” AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, said in a statement.

The program runs for 12 months and faculty members from 38 medical schools and residency programs will be selected through a competitive application process. The participants will receive the coaching and mentorship from “nationally known experts in health systems science,” according to the AMA.

Each scholar will complete a curriculum project over the course of the year that can then be integrated at their institution to offer health systems science within physician training. Scholars will also attend a two-day faculty-development workshop, participate in webinars and meet with their designated mentor, according to the AMA.

“We will continue to work with our community of innovation to develop and share additional resources and best practices to help prepare our future physicians to deliver care that meets the needs of modern patients on their first day in practice,” Harris said. “This work will move the U.S. health system to improve patient experiences, improve population health and reduce health care costs.”

Upon completing the program, scholars will join the AMA’s new academy, and the program will be held annually, with application submissions for next year’s program beginning in summer 2020.

In addition to the program and the academy, the AMA developed the Health Systems Science textbook and published its new Health Systems Science Review book as a study tool for physicians in training and other health professionals. The association also offers a series of online education modules, the Health Systems Science Learning Series. Working with the National Board of Medical Examiners, the AMA developed a free standardized exam to address medical student readiness for residency in health systems science.