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A Healthier Future for All: The AAMC Strategic Plan

Is America's Approach to Health Broken?

Too many people in the U.S. and around the world aren’t as healthy as they could be. That’s why the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) developed a bold new plan to create a healthier future for all.

SP hero

A healthier future starts here and now. From gaping health disparities to uneven access to care, the challenges ahead are daunting. But amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and growing public outrage over systemic racism, a renewed sense of urgency offers an unprecedented opportunity for change. In partnership with medical schools, teaching hospitals and health systems, academic medical societies, and the people of academic medicine, the AAMC is poised to lead the change that will improve the health of people everywhere.”

— David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC President and CEO

The 10-point plan to make it happen

Systemic change takes systematic action. That’s why, with the help of our members and a community of experts, we developed the following plan to turn our vision for a healthier future into a reality. Action Plans are works in progress and will continue to evolve over time.


Action Plan 1

Strengthen Medical Education

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.   

Action Plan 2

Support Students

Students and residents need knowledge, guidance, direction, and support to enable them to explore and make confident choices in their profession journeys. The AAMC is a leader in the research and development of assessments designed to measure competencies along the medical education continuum. In this action plan, the AAMC will lead a coalition of collaborators to implement effective solutions to ensure medical school and residency admission and selection processes are fair, equitable, and feasible.

Action Plan 3

Focus on Inclusivity

To accelerate discovery and improve health, academic medicine needs equitable and inclusive environments in which all faculty, staff, administrators, and learners feel welcome, safe, and valued. Yet women and members of marginalized groups face systemic problems such as racism, bias, harassment, disrespect, and isolation. This action plan seeks to create more inclusive, equitable environments in medical schools and teaching hospitals, so they can better attract and advance a diverse workforce and improve the health of all people.

Action Plan 2

Diversify Tomorrow's Doctors

The academic medicine community has made minimal progress in increasing the number of physicians from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. In particular, we must design bolder interventions to address the paucity of Black men and the invisibility of American Indians and Alaska Natives in medical school and the physician workforce. In this action plan, the AAMC will take a multitiered approach to significantly increase the diversity of medical students.

Action Plan 5

Strengthen the Research Environment

An optimal research environment that drives impactful biomedical discovery is supportive, diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Medical schools and teaching hospitals are already working to develop policies and practices that promote progress in these areas, and together we can have greater momentum and impact. In this action plan, the AAMC will focus on the needs and opportunities for all people in the biomedical research workforce in furtherance of a more supportive and inclusive environment for science.

Action Plan 6

Evolve Leadership Skills

Medical schools and teaching hospitals need individuals with the leadership, courage, and capabilities to address an array of complex issues. Through this action plan, the AAMC will help the people of academic medicine to be “leader ready” for any situation. The outcomes of this action plan will be professionals in academic medicine who can collaboratively navigate dynamic and uncertain environments to anticipate and solve complex leadership challenges for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Action Plan 7

Improve Access

Health care access is a complex and chronic challenge. This action plan seeks to improve access to care for people in medically underserved and otherwise marginalized communities by capitalizing on the strengths of the academic medicine community: its integrated mission areas, commitment to evidence-based care, and community collaborations. We seek to identify and advance innovative, effective, and evidence-based strategies that enhance health care access and promote health care equity while supporting high-value care.

Action Plan 8

Advance Knowledge

The academic medicine community, policymakers, and others turn to the AAMC for information, data, and advice on countless issues. AAMC research and analyses inform policy and practice across the missions and institutions of academic medicine. 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.  

Action Plan 9

Promote Health Equity and Health Justice

Despite decades of effort by various sectors — including public health and medicine — health inequities and injustices persist. This action plan created the AAMC’s Center for Health Justice to contribute to the solutions to health inequities by innovating, collaborating, and digging deeper to ensure that systems and structures shift toward justice. The center will spark community collaborations with diverse sectors and individuals contributing their unique resources in service of the common cause of health justice. 

Action Plan 10

Adapt to Change

Rapid systemic change is occurring throughout academic medicine and health care. For the AAMC to lead and serve our members through the magnitude of changes they face, the AAMC must be an even stronger, more effective association. Through this action plan, the AAMC is taking a fresh look at our membership model and engagement with our community. By doing so, we will broaden and deepen our involvement with people in, and even beyond, academic medicine to achieve our mission.

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