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Optimizing Graduate Medical Education: Phase I

In its first year, Optimizing GME laid the foundation for major change across three areas of focus:

Investing in Future Physicians

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America faces a nationwide physician shortage as demand for health care accelerates because of a growing, diversifying, and aging population. GME plays a crucial role in preparing physicians to meet this increased demand. Establishing a physician workforce able to meet the nation's future health care needs requires adequate investment in GME.

Optimizing the Environment for Learning, Care, and Discovery

The prized foundations of academic medicine are its people. The talent within America's medical schools, teaching hospitals and health systems transforms bricks and mortar into spaces for innovative teaching that enhances learning, groundbreaking discovery, and compassionate, world-class care. Creating an environment that celebrates and fosters the shared goals of learning, care, and discovery is of primary importance.

Preparing the Physician and Physician Scientist for the 21st Century

Training physicians and physician scientists who are well-prepared to practice in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment requires comprehensive educational transformation. We must ensure that physicians are ready to demonstrate competence not simply in medical knowledge and patient care, but also in interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, interprofessional collaboration, professionalism, and personal and professional development.

Ongoing projects and efforts in support of these focus areas include:

  • Efforts to invest in future physicians through advocacy work to increase federal support for GME, as well as efforts to align training in support of student desires and to refine the metrics of accountability for GME support.
  • Development of educational models to better understand and make decisions about the training and support learners need to acquire the range of medical knowledge and behavioral competencies needed at every stage of education, training, and practice.
  • Creation of a constituent learning community around the Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for Entering Residency, a common core set of behaviors and tasks that residents can be expected to exhibit or perform on day one of residency training.
  • Engaging stakeholders from licensing and accreditation bodies to study the implications of competency-based progression and the potential for shortened pathways to residency.
  • Studying effective strategies to cultivate and evaluate positive learning environments for students, residents, and faculty. In June 2016, the AAMC hosted a leadership forum to bring together the best minds across the academic medicine community to discuss strategies for combatting burnout and strengthening resilience.

report iconRead an update on the AAMC's progress in the first year of the Optimizing GME initiative 

Update Webinars

December 2015 Update Webinar on Investing in Future Physicians
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Listen to the webinar  

September 2015 Update Webinar on Optimizing the Environment
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Listen to the webinar  


Other Optimizing GME Resources

GME Bill Would Increase Residency Slots and Enhance Accountability and TransparencyAAMC News Release

The Nation's Physician Workforce and Future Challenges American Journal of the Medical Sciences

Medicare's Graduate Medical Education Policy: Its Inception and Congress's Clear and Persistent Commitment AAMC White Paper

Well-being in Academic MedicineAAMC Web Resource