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Action Plan 1: Strengthen the Medical Education Continuum for Transformed Health Care and Learning Environments

Lisa Howley, PhD; Walter Conwell, MD, MBA; and Nahae Kim, MPH, share their perspectives on inclusive, anti-racist learning environments and what the AAMC is doing to promote them.

Through this action plan, the AAMC builds on its history of fostering innovation in competency-based medical education (CBME).

We seek to better align educational outcomes across medical schools and their clinical partners and across the medical education continuum to improve patient-level and system-level outcomes.

This action plan has four major goals:

  1. Learners are educated in a more inclusive, anti-racist environment that equitably supports the progress of all learners.
  2. The medical education community implements CBME in new and emerging areas in diverse educational settings.
  3. U.S. medical schools move toward uniform adoption of a set of foundational competencies for undergraduate medical education that aligns across the medical education continuum.
  4. The AAMC is the medical education home for the community, offering curricular resources, professional development and collaborative partnerships in advancing CBME across the continuum.

Where we are now

  • Our study of the 2021 AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire was published in Journal of Surgical Education in April 2023. The study analyzed the Graduation Questionnaire results to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on in-person and virtual away rotations by specialty. The study results suggest various surgical specialties were among the early innovators of virtual rotations. (Supports Goal 1)
  • Our study of graduating medical students’ perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their medical school experiences and preparation for careers as physicians has been published ahead of print in December 2023 in Academic Medicine. This national study highlights what students perceive as valuable fundamental elements of medical education and student support and how innovation can improve long-standing practices in optimizing student learning, engagement, and well-being.
  • In collaboration with AAMC Action Plan 4, we completed a study on GME placement of US medical school graduates. Preliminary results were presented at the AAMC SGEA Spring meeting in April 2023 and at the AAMC Healthcare Workforce Research Conference in May 2023. The study will be shared when complete. (Supports Goal 1)
  • The AAMC invites submissions for inclusion in the new “Constructing an Equitable Learning Environment” web-based compendium, a collection of timely and diverse materials that support an anti-racist, inclusive, and equity-centered learning environment. Successful submissions will include content aligned with the competency domains described in the AAMC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Competencies Across the Learning Continuum report. Resources will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the call will remain open until the compendium addresses all the competency domains. (Supports Goal 1)
  • Shruti Chandra, MD, MEHP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, has joined the AAMC as a consultant to co-lead the Competency-Based Education in Telehealth Challenge Grant Program. Dr. Chandra is a Telehealth practitioner and developer of the Telehealth Facilitator Certificate Program at Jefferson for which she is the program director. She is also the program director for Jefferson’s Telehealth and Digital Health graduate certificate programs. Dr. Chandra co-leads the AAMC Telehealth Medical Education committee and is the Telehealth Collection’s Editor for MedEdPORTAL. (Supports Goal 2)
  • Through our Telehealth Challenge Grant Program: Responding to the Teaching and Assessment Needs of Academic Medicine, the AAMC is beginning to work with each our grant recipients to support their efforts and propagate knowledge. The AAMC Telehealth Challenge Grant Program supports the development, dissemination, and integration of competency-based interprofessional education in telehealth as well as create a cross-continuum community of educators actively working to cultivate telehealth in medical student, resident, and continuing education programs. Learn more about this program and the effort of each of our grant recipients. (Supports Goal 2)
  • The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have released a summary of input collected from the medical education community about the development of foundational competencies for undergraduate medical education in the United States. More than 1,000 people, including medical educators, physicians, students, residents, patients, and caregivers, from across 47 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 15 other countries have shared their perspectives. After months of analysis and in consultation with a distinguished advisory group, a project working group is now sharing this iterative draft and soliciting input from the community. Your perspective is indispensable in creating the Foundational Competencies. All feedback must be received by February 12, 2024. Review the competencies and provide feedback.  (Supports Goal 3) 
  • The AAMC released this PDF data snapshot entitled, “Medical School Transition to Residency (TTR) Courses: Recent Trends and Current Status” that showed that the prevalence of required TTR courses steadily increased among U.S. MD-granting schools over the past six years, with differences among medical schools regarding the balance of general and specialty-specific course focus and the curricular content of these courses.
  • Our study entitled, “Piloting a National Curricular Resource for the Transition to Surgical Residency”, describing characteristics of participating schools and their students has been published ahead of print in January 2024 in Journal of Surgical Education. (Supports Goal 4)  

What happens next

  • In Spring 2024, we will begin to release the “Constructing an Equitable Learning Environment” a virtual collection of timely and diverse materials that support an anti-racist, inclusive, and equity-centered learning environment. (Supports Goal 1) 
  • The AAMC, AACOM and ACGME have released the first draft of the undergraduate medical education competencies for community review; with this feedback, the draft will be revised and again shared with the community for feedback (Supports Goal 3). 

Ways to get involved

  • Submit materials for inclusion in the new “Constructing an Equitable Learning Environment” web-based compendium. (Supports Goal 1)
  • If you are attending the ACGME annual educational conference in Orlando Florida, March 7-9, 2024, please join us for the following sessions:
    • “Building and Sustaining Equitable, Inclusive, and Anti-Racist Learning Environments”: Friday, March 8, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. ET (Supports Goal 1)
    • “Resident Readiness Survey – Using Data to Improve the Transition of Your New Residents” Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 8:15 a.m. ET (Supports Goal 3)
    • “Aligning the Competencies Across the Continuum: Foundational Competencies for UME” Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2:30 p.m. ET (Supports Goal 3)
  • The AAMC, AACOM and ACGME are continuing to collect community input to help inform their recommendations for undergraduate medical education competencies. Please take a moment to share your perspective. (Supports Goal 3)
  • Explore current trends in artificial intelligence (AI). Join the AAMC Communities to engage with peers, learn about the latest work happening across academic medicine, and explore best practices and challenges with experts in AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and more. Find a curated collection of the latest resources and upcoming events addressing the use of AI in medical education. (Supports Goal 4)