June 14, 2013

AMA awards $1 million to Vanderbilt to help transform medical education

The American Medical Association (AMA) has selected Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) to receive a $1 million grant as one of the nation’s 11 top medical schools transforming medical education.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has selected Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) to receive a $1 million grant as one of the nation’s 11 top medical schools transforming medical education.

The grant, part of the AMA initiative Accelerating Change in Medical Education, makes Vanderbilt the recipient of $1 million over the next five years to take part in a consortium created to rapidly disseminate best practices in medical education across the country.

Bonnie Miller, M.D., senior associate dean for Health Sciences Education, said the announcement is evidence the innovations brought about by VUSM’s new educational curriculum, Curriculum 2.0, are among the nation’s most advanced.

For VUSM, Curriculum 2.0 represents the departure from a highly regarded, but traditional medical school curriculum to a complex, integrated, collaborative and flexible course schedule that includes less traditional lecture and more clinical and case-based experience.

“This is a validation that Curriculum 2.0 represents some of the most exciting and innovative ideas for medical education,” Miller said. “It is just what the AMA is looking for. [lquote] Through this grant, the AMA hopes to disseminate best practice to medical educators throughout the nation.[/lquote] We believe this funding and collaboration will allow us to accelerate the changes we hope to bring about with Curriculum 2.0, and to rigorously evaluate the curriculum’s effectiveness.”

Vanderbilt’s grant submission outlined major changes included through Curriculum 2.0, such as embedding students at a single clinical site for the duration of their undergraduate medical education and competency-based assessments along with individualized learning goals and objectives. As a result of Curriculum 2.0’s competency-based progression, some students will be able to complete medical school in fewer than four years.

The AMA grant will also accelerate enhancements in VUSM’s informatics infrastructure supporting student learning.

The AMA said the grants are to support educational innovations envisioned by each institution.

“We are thrilled to award funding to 11 medical schools for their bold, transformative proposals designed to close the gaps between how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered,” said AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, M.D. [rquote]“This AMA initiative will identify specific changes in medical education that can be applied in medical schools throughout the nation to enable students to thrive in a changing health care environment and improve the health of our nation’s patients.”[/rquote]

Miller said she is particularly excited to be working with other schools such as the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan, among others.

“Over the next five years we will have the incredible honor of sharing a curriculum we have worked on so hard for the last several years, and will have the opportunity to learn more about what works for other programs. It will be fun, helpful and interesting, but most of all it establishes Vanderbilt as a leader in transformational change in health care education,” Miller said.

The AMA said submissions for the grant were quite competitive, with more than 80 percent of the nation’s medical schools providing proposals. According to the AMA’s website, the purpose is to “alter undergraduate medical education significantly through bold, rigorously evaluated innovations that align medical student training with the evolving needs of patients, communities and the rapidly changing health environment.”

Robert Dittus, M.D., MPH, associate vice chancellor for Public Health and Health Care and senior associate dean for Population Health Sciences, co-authored Vanderbilt’s submission with Miller. Kim Lomis, M.D., associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, and other critical managers of Curriculum 2.0 will direct the grant work and will serve in the national consortium.