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The AAMC Research and Action Institute

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The United States needs a new approach to the most pressing health care challenges before us.

Atul Grover, MD, PhD
Atul Grover, MD, PhD, Executive Director

The AAMC Research and Action Institute brings together leaders from the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, and research institutions, along with other experts, to tackle complex health policy issues and develop straightforward solutions to improve health. It digs deeper into the issues and makes the connections that can lead to effective change.

The institute takes a straightforward, nonpartisan, practical approach to policy issues that utilizes the expertise of the AAMC, its members, policy experts, and other stakeholders. Atul Grover, MD, PhD, serves as executive director of the AAMC Research and Action Institute.

Our Mission

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In the fall of 2020, the AAMC embarked on a new strategic plan with a focus on addressing some of our nation’s greatest challenges — from rising health care costs to health care workforce shortages.

The AAMC Research and Action Institute, the association’s new think tank, tackles a number of these challenges and others that are affecting the health of the United States.

The institute was established as part of the AAMC’s strategic priority to lead the change that will improve the health of people everywhere. It aims to take a novel approach to discussing policy challenges and offer solutions to the most intractable problems. The institute redefines complex problems, finds a common understanding of their core components, and brings more visibility to feasible — but not necessarily popular — solutions.

The institute is committed to breaking down complex topics and helping policymakers and the public understand, navigate, and improve American health care.

Who We Are

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Approaching complex health challenges requires a team with a unique set of perspectives — from the AAMC and beyond. The AAMC Research and Action Institute’s project teams include AAMC researchers and analysts, as well as national experts in relevant fields.

The institute also works alongside key leaders at the AAMC’s member medical schools, teaching hospitals, and research institutions to further promote the pathway to effective change.

Meet our external advisory committee

Our Impact

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For decades, the United States’ health care and regulatory decision-makers have turned to the AAMC for information, data, and guidance on pressing issues from health care to social justice. This is especially true in times of public health crises such as Ebola and the coronavirus pandemic.

The AAMC Research and Action Institute brings policymakers clear, thoughtful insights on health policy issues that are derived from the collective thinking of national experts, researchers, and other stakeholders. It helps expand the reach of the AAMC to lead in areas beyond academic medicine to nationwide health care.

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the tremendous strength of our nation’s clinicians, scientists, and front-line workers, but it also exposed the U.S. health care system’s continued challenges related to access, equity, and public health infrastructure.

The pandemic has underscored the need to address the nation’s existing challenges of widespread health disparities, expanding access to care, rising health care costs, and public health infrastructure.

From time to time, the Institute will also provide practical guidance to the general public on complex public health issues.

Our Work

The AAMC building

In July 2020, as the institute was being created, the AAMC issued a road map for a COVID-19 restart.

The road map identified nine evidence-based actions essential to addressing the pandemic and two longer-term changes to improve overall health.

Following the AAMC’s release of the road map, the institute has issued several resources:

  • Simplified face mask guidance containing standards on wearing face coverings that were easy for people to understand.
  • The AAMC Guide to COVID-19 Tests and Testing, published in October 2020, addressing the most common questions about the different types of tests for COVID-19 and when each type should be used.
  • Testing recommendations for the United States, released in October 2020 due to the challenges in implementing an effective testing strategy.

In September 2021, the AAMC Research and Action Institute released The Way Forward Starts Now: Lessons from COVID-19 (PDF), a reflection on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, including recommendations on how the United States can be better prepared for the next pandemic and the ongoing health care needs of the country. Federal leadership could make many of these recommendations possible within months; and be able to implement the vast majority within the next three to five years.

The Future for the Research and Action Institute

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The AAMC Research and Action Institute will continue to lay the groundwork for addressing the U.S. health care system through policy analysis.

In the coming months, the institute will focus on providing original research and brief white papers that will synthesize complex issues in our health care system and propose possible steps forward to improve the health of all. Upcoming publications will include a road map for America’s health that incorporates lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, in-depth research on the nation’s health care workforce, and brief white papers that will break down the current challenges with how the United States approaches health care costs and coverage.

The institute invites health care decision-makers, influencers, and members of the public to subscribe to future communications and updates from Executive Director Atul Grover, MD, PhD. It also welcomes feedback on issues of interest that the Research and Action Institute may address.

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