A Message from the President and CEO
Launching an Improved MCAT® Exam
Students began taking the new MCAT exam in April. The revised exam was the result of years of thought, research, discussions, and planning to gauge the knowledge and abilities that tomorrow’s physicians will need to keep pace with a changing health care landscape. It measures skills beyond scientific competencies, including the ability to solve complex problems and awareness of social and behavioral determinants of health. More than 60,000 students took the new exam in 2015.
Raising Awareness of the Doctor Shortage
The AAMC released a report in March predicting a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians by 2025. Distributed to Congress, this was the first national analysis taking into account demographics and changes to care delivery and payment methods. The Washington Post, Modern Healthcare, and Forbes featured the report as well. The AAMC also produced a graphic-novel style video showing the potential impact of a physician shortage that received top honors from Modern Healthcare and Advertising Age as social media campaign of the year.
In 2015, the AAMC launched an ambitious five-year roadmap to align graduate medical education (GME) and training with evolving demands in health care. Optimizing GME is a comprehensive and sustained plan to invest in future physicians, optimize learning, and prepare physicians and physician-scientists for the 21st century. The AAMC also worked with Congress to reintroduce legislation to increase the number of federally supported residency training positions.
The AAMC facilitated Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI), an initiative of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to lower cost and improve services through new payment models. A collaborative of 30 teaching hospitals is developing and implementing evidence-based processes for BPCI. The collaborative is also developing a workshop for academic medicine professionals who will participate in Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), the first mandated CMMI bundled payment program. This program will be starting in 65 major metropolitan areas in April 2016.
As the number of medical school applicants increases, more than 7 million unique users are visiting the AAMC website each year seeking trustworthy information about medical school and residency training. The AAMC unveiled a new website in 2015 to provide comprehensive, mobile-friendly, go-to support for students, residents, and advisors. The site provides information about the medical school admissions process, managing finances, applying for residency, and how to find a range of other resources.
In August, the AAMC published Altering the Course: Black Males in Medicine, a pivotal report that shined a national spotlight on the need to redouble diversity efforts, particularly for black males. The AAMC added its voice as well to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin by filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to reinforce the importance of holistic review in higher education. In addition, ending health care disparities was a major focus at Learn Serve Lead 2015: The AAMC Annual Meeting.
Discover how AAMC moved medical education, medical research, and health care forward during the past year through its programs, services, and advocacy efforts.
Providing Value to Academic Medicine
Advocating for Academic Medicine
The AAMC is where people with expertise in the missions of medical education, health care delivery, and research work alongside leading decision makers on national policy. As the collective voice of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals, the AAMC amplifies the missions of academic medicine in public policy discussions and the media.
- During 2015, members of Congress and their staff contacted AAMC Government Relations experts 1,275 times to seek information and discuss issues vital to the nation’s health and economy. AAMC staff made 395 visits to policymakers and wrote 59 comment letters to represent the position of academic medicine on important issues.
After more than a decade and countless hours of advocacy work by AAMC staff, member institutions, and the hospital and physician communities, Congress enacted legislation that replaced the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment formula.
The AAMC hosted five Capitol Hill briefings in conjunction with the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus and sponsored or participated in several others that addressed the role of medical schools and teaching hospitals in the health of the nation. Topics included strategies to address rural physician shortages and lessons learned from Ebola.
More than 190,000 pre-meds, medical students, residents, and others joined AAMC Action, the association’s new online grassroots community of activists. Since the campaign began, 32,650 of these advocates took action on graduate medical education issues.
More than 49,000 people now follow the AAMC Medical Research Tumblr. The online site highlights the latest groundbreaking discoveries and research at AAMC-member institutions made possible through federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
More than 960 news stories cited the AAMC and the views and perspectives of academic medicine in 2015 in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Modern Healthcare, and on broadcast outlets including NPR, NBC, and CBS.