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Rapid changes in health care in the United States not only affect patients — they challenge the way universities train our future physicians. This past January, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced “Accelerating Change in Medical Education,” a $10 million competitive-grant initiative designed to bridge the gap in how physicians are trained and the ever-evolving health-care system.

The incoming president of the AMA, Dr. Ardis D. Hoven, says, “With this exciting initiative, we aim to align the medical education of today with the health-care needs of tomorrow. The AMA looks forward to facilitating the innovative structural change that engenders a significant redesign of undergraduate medical education that can be duplicated in medical schools across the country.”

According to the AMA, money from the initiative will fund eight to 10 projects at American medical schools over the next five years. These projects will, among other things, develop new methods for measuring and assessing key competencies, and promote ways to achieve patient safety, performance improvement and patient-centered, team-based care.

Some 115 medical schools submitted proposals to receive the funds, and in March the AMA announced that it had narrowed the field of applicants to 31. Those schools were then asked to submit more comprehensive project plans. The final eight to 10 accepted proposals will be announced in Chicago June 15 to 19 at the AMA’s semiannual policy-making meeting.

“More than 80 percent of medical schools submitted innovative ideas to transform medical education. This ­outstanding response underscores the medical-­education ­community’s recognition of the need for change and its yearning to implement meaningful innovation,” Dr. Hoven explains.

For more information on “Accelerating Change in Medical Education,” visit