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AAMC Announces Five-Year Road Map to Strengthen the Nation’s Graduate Medical Education System

Washington, D.C., February 24, 2015— The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) today announced a comprehensive and sustained effort to strengthen graduate medical education (GME). The five-year road map for “optimizing GME” focuses on three strategic areas: investing in future physicians; optimizing the environment for learning care, and discovery; and preparing physicians and physician scientists for the evolving demands of 21st-century health care.

“Health care is changing at a rapid rate, and this exciting, challenging environment demands new approaches,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD. “For decades, medical schools and teaching hospitals have been meeting these challenges with innovations in education, training, and care delivery. This road map—a comprehensive and sustained plan—will further align medical education with current and future health care and societal needs to improve the health of all.”

Optimizing Graduate Medical Education: A Five-Year Road Map for America’s Medical Education and Teaching Hospitals sets out seven priorities in three broad areas of strategic focus:

  • Investing in future physicians

    America faces a nationwide physician shortage expected to become more acute as demand for health care accelerates. Financial support for GME from teaching hospitals and other public and private stakeholders plays a crucial role in preparing physicians to meet this increased demand.

    Priorities in this area include refining the metrics of accountability in GME; aligning residency training positions with societal needs and student aspirations and desires; and building the evidence base supporting GME as a societal good.

  •  Optimizing the environment for learning, care, and discovery

    The foundations of academic medicine are the professionals within America's medical schools and teaching hospitals who transform bricks and mortar into spaces for innovative 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.

    Defining the critical elements for the optimal learning environment across the continuum of medical education, identifying best practices, and improving the environment for learners and faculty are key priorities in this area of strategic focus.

  • Preparing the Physician and Physician Scientist for the 21st Century

    Training physicians and physician scientists who are well-prepared to practice and advance discovery in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment requires continued educational transformation.

    Priorities in this area include standardizing expectations for and improving the performance of entering residents and new practitioners; expanding competency-based learning opportunities and developing new educational models; and demonstrating ways to optimize the duration of education and training for individual learners.

This ongoing association-wide effort will be led by Kirch, AAMC Chief Medical Education Officer Maryellen E. Gusic, MD, and AAMC Chief Health Care Officer Janis M. Orlowski, MD, and will include input from experts and thought leaders from medical schools and teaching hospitals across the country.
“While America’s system of graduate medical education is the best in the world, the Optimizing GME initiative will tackle the improvements essential to ensuring that tomorrow’s physicians and physician scientists are well-prepared to care for patients in the nation’s evolving health care system,” said Kirch. “We look forward to working closely with our members and colleague organizations to strengthen our nation’s graduate medical education system to ensure the highest quality care for all Americans.”

For more information and to download the full report, visit


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


Susan Beach   

A Five-Year Road Map

Physicians looking at x-rays

Graduate medical education (GME) in the United States is at a critical juncture, and the AAMC and its member institutions are rising to the challenge.