AMA Urges Med Students to Be Agents of Health Care Change

Schools exploring different ideas, including continuity clinics, competency-based learning

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students are being encouraged to be agents of change in the health care system, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

In a recent conference of the AMA's Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, close to 200 leaders in medical education from schools across the country met to discuss innovations to involve medical students in the health care needs of the nation. Eleven schools received a $1 million grant to implement changes in medical student training.

Schools are exploring new ideas, including competency-based learning and assessment; continuity clinics allowing medical students continuous access to the same patients for a number of years; practical training to boost teamwork and interprofessional interactions; and quality improvement tools. As an example, one medical student developed a weeklong mini-course to help reduce medical errors associated with blood pressure management in hospitalized stroke patients.

"The Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative has prompted the participant schools to take some educational risks and try new models that are more in line with the needs of today's medical student," David Savage, from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and a student representative to the AMA Council on Medical Education, said in a statement.

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