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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

  • 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 several meetings in the spring and summer, including the 2022 Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) conference and a full manuscript is being prepared for dissemination. (Supports Goal 1)

  • Jaya Aysola, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics and assistant dean for inclusion and diversity at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is serving 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. (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)

  • We have issued a request for proposals and will be accepting applications for the newly created Competency-Based Education in Telehealth Challenge Grant Program to advance and accelerate competency-based education in telehealth. Grant recipients will be awarded up to $40,000 and will become part of a 24-month virtual collaborative learning community with the other awardees. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 12, 2023. Learn how you can submit a proposal. (Supports Goal 2)

  • The AAMC has announced the 2022 recipients of its Telehealth Equity Catalyst Awards and Pilot Grants. The following schools and programs were selected to receive funding to either catalyze or pilot new and innovative initiatives that address barriers associated with telehealth, with a particular focus on under-resourced communities. The programs below have a particular focus on medical training. Learn more about all the awardees. (Supports Goal 2)

    • Medical University of South Carolina — The CARES 529 Meeting Street Clinic: A Telehealth Initiative to Overcome Health Care Barriers and Increase Health Equity for People Experiencing Homelessness (Award).

    • Massachusetts General Hospital — Development and Validation of a Communications Curriculum for Equitable Telehealth Practice (Pilot Grant).

    • Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and LAC+USC Medical Center — Closing the Digital Divide by Integrating Design Thinking Curricula Into Medical Education (Pilot Grant).

  • The AAMC, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have launched a new initiative to create a common set of foundational competencies for use in UME programs in the United States. This initiative aligns with recommendations outlined in the Undergraduate Medical Education-Graduate Medical Education Review Committee and is part of a comprehensive effort to improve the transition to residency. Learn more about this initiative and provide input. (Supports Goal 3)

What happens next

  • In early 2023, we will release the “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. (Supports Goal 1)
  • In early 2023, we will award $40,000 grants as part of our new Competency-Based Education in Telehealth Challenge Grant Program to advance and accelerate competency-based education in telehealth. (Supports Goal 2)