OU-HCOM Selected to Join Nationwide Group to Transform Medical Education

(November 9, 2015) The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) is one of 21 medical colleges nationwide chosen to join a consortium formed by the American Medical Association to transform the way future physicians are trained.

Participants were chosen by a national panel of experts to join 11 medical schools that are already part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. The group was created to enhance the innovative work underway to create the medical school of the future. The Heritage College is one of three osteopathic medical schools -- along with AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine -- chosen this year to join the consortium

Membership in the consortium brings with it a three-year, $75,000 grant to help advance projects being pursued by each school to transform undergraduate medical education to better align with the 21st century health care system.

The Heritage College was selected for its "transformative care curriculum," an innovative, competency-based program that integrates primary care delivery and medical education. The curriculum is being developed by a team of medical and education professionals from the Heritage College and Cleveland Clinic, and will be implemented at the Heritage College, Cleveland, starting in 2018.

The new educational pathway will provide a direct route for select students who commit to primary care at the outset to family medicine residency programs within the Cleveland Clinic system. They will be “board-eligible, practice-ready” physicians in six years – three each in pre- and post-doctoral work – rather than the typical seven, decreasing the cost of medical education.

Heritage College, Cleveland, Dean Isaac J. Kirstein, DO, said joining the AMA consortium is a great honor for the college.

“The Heritage College, Cleveland, is already developing a new and better model for medical education in the 21st century,” Kirstein said. “I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining this elite group of medical schools, each of us committed to real innovation in how we train physicians. This consortium will allow us to share and learn from others about what curricular innovation looks like nationally. This recognition is validation that our vision for transformative education is right on target.”

Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, DO, said membership in the group makes perfect sense for the college, which is already strongly focused on training physicians to lead in clinical settings, where health care delivery is changing rapidly.

“Through our involvement with the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education, and our work to transform our own curricula, we have put ourselves at the forefront of the growing movement to adapt medical education to changes our graduates are already experiencing in patient care,” Johnson said. “This invitation to join the consortium shows that our efforts are noticed by medical education leaders across the nation.”

The 21 new schools joining the consortium, according to the AMA, will build upon the projects that were created by the 11 schools awarded grants by the AMA in 2013. Their work will ultimately impact thousands of medical students across the nation currently being trained to care for patients in the rapidly changing health care environment. With the added schools, the now 31-school consortium will support training for an estimated 18,000 medical students who will one day care for 31 million patients each year.

Through a competitive grant process, the schools were selected from among 170 eligible US medical schools by a national advisory panel which sought proposals that would significantly redesign medical education. Some of the selected projects proposed by the new schools include programs that incorporate medical students into care coordination teams in an accountable care organization aimed at improving care for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Other selected projects focus on developing advanced simulation and telemedicine technologies to foster skills specific to the needs of rural or remote communities.

The 21 new schools are:
AT Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (Mesa)
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Cleveland)
Eastern Virginia Medical School (Norfolk)
Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta)
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Miami)
Harvard Medical School (Boston)
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (East Lansing)
Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta)
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Cleveland)
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (New Brunswick, NJ)
Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/City College of New York (New York)
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Philadelphia)
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (Chicago)
University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Farmington)
University of Nebraska Medical Center/College of Medicine (Omaha)
University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Chapel Hill)
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (Grand Forks)
University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School (Austin)
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine (Brownsville, TX)
University of Utah School of Medicine (Salt Lake City)
University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle)

More information and a descriptions of each school’s project is at www.changemeded.org.

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