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AAMC Supports Greater Engagement with Patients, Use of Patient-Centered Scientific Evidence

Washington, D.C., September 2, 2011AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement today on the comments  the association has submitted  to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) on the definition of patient-centered outcomes research:

“To truly capture the essence of patient-centered outcomes research, it is important to recognize that patients exist as part of families, communities, and populations that can profoundly shape health outcomes.  Understanding how these factors influence the patient, including those that contribute to disparities of care, creates a highly individualistic approach inherent to the meaning of “patient-centered.”  Because our individual health is shaped by the social, economic, and environmental conditions of our communities, it is vital that the definition of patient-centered outcomes research recognizes that studying these relationships can help determine the success of certain health care interventions.

The AAMC encourages the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to emphasize the importance of using evidence-based science in the decision-making process.  When health care choices are made based on the best available facts that incorporate the values and needs of all patients, the delivery system is transformed, allowing providers and patients to make fully informed decisions about their health and health care.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals have a long tradition of conducting patient-centered outcomes research, and many are building capacity for this research as well as implementation science, which studies the best methods for encouraging the use and maintenance of effective treatments.  AAMC-member institutions are uniquely able to study and influence treatments across health care settings for a variety of populations, and will be valuable partners in advancing PCORI’s important work.”


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at