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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.   

Where we are now

We’re working on four major goals over the next five years:

  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.

What happens next

  • We will soon announce an expert who will co-lead the association’s efforts to support medical school and training programs in constructing an equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist learning environment. This individual will work closely with AAMC collaborators and will serve as co-lead for an AAMC working group to provide educators and administrators at AAMC-member medical schools and teaching institutions with the tools and resources needed to address and eliminate racist practices in the learning environment.
  • We are studying the 2021 AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire to explore students’ perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary findings were presented at all four regional Group on Educational Affairs meetings during Spring 2022.

  • The 2021 AAMC Medical School Graduation Questionnaire respondents’ data pertaining to completion of each of virtual and face-to-face away rotations are being examined by each specialty and findings will be presented during Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting in November 2022.

  • New AAMC Pre-Publication diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) competencies for medical educators. The AAMC, with input from a broad range of education stakeholders, has developed DEI competencies (PDF) for use across the continuum of undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education. The competencies are intended to guide educators while developing curricula, for students learning to practice, and for professionals continuing their professional development. Please direct any questions or comments to DEIcompetencies@aamc.org.

  • The AAMC, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) are developing a new initiative to create a common set of foundational competencies for use in undergraduate medical education programs in the United States. This initiative aligns with recommendations outlined in the Undergraduate Medical Education-Graduate Medical Education Review Committee (UGRC) and is part of a comprehensive effort to improve the transition to residency. The initiative will engage thought leaders from across academic medicine, beginning with a series of listening sessions planned for later in 2022.

Ways to get involved

An emerging area for the field of medical education is to determine safe and effective methods for teaching and learning new AAMC telehealth competencies in our diverse educational settings. The AAMC’s Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) Awards and new TEC Pilot Grants seeks to recognize and highlight the efforts of member institutions that are advancing health care equity through telehealth and health technology in new and effective ways. The application closed on May 6th and awardees will be announced in early June.

MedEdPORTAL invites authors, owners, and contributors to submit their work for publication consideration and inclusion in the Anti-racism in Medicine Collection. An additional call for submissions focused on antiracist educational resources will open in the Summer of 2022, check back for more information in August 2022.