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12/23/2018 5:43:00 PM
Nation's medical schools are getting a makeover
The American Medical Association is one of two groups that accredit medical schools. The Chicago-based professional organization focuses on improving communities' health, helping physicians run their practices and improving medical education.

During its 2018 Interim Meeting, held in November in Maryland, the AMA adopted several new policies on public health issues including:

• Supporting stronger firearm permit background checks

• Advocating for food labeling transparency

• Opposing e-cigarette use by youth

• Encouraging medical students to seek training in rural areas

• Preventing medical student and physician suicide

Source: American Medical Association

Sherry Slater, Journal Gazette

The American Medical Association is working with medical schools nationwide to update what – and how – future doctors are taught.

Seemingly everything is on the table for reconsideration, including how long aspiring physicians must attend classes. The standard four-year requirement is passé, some say.

An experienced physical therapist or registered nurse might be able to finish medical school in less than three years, while some other students might need more than the typical four, said Dr. Susan Skochelak, the AMA's vice president for medical education.

“We had no mechanism to right-size training,” she said, adding that physician training “can be more flexible and individualized than it has been.”

The AMA's effort to revamp medical training expanded to 32 medical schools in October as it enters its sixth year. Indiana University's School of Medicine, one of 12 original participants, has embraced the project at each of its nine campuses, including the one in Fort Wayne.

IU's contribution to the education overhaul includes a significant piece of medical school curriculum designed to familiarize students with electronic health records.  

“They've developed a much-needed teaching platform,” Skochelak said, adding that more than a dozen other medical schools have adopted the curriculum. “They've definitely been a star among our schools on the innovation front.”

Getting technical

IU's medical school assembled more than 10,000 patients' symptoms and medical histories into a database. All that's missing from the electronic health records are patients' names and other identifying data.

Related Links:
• Journal Gazette full text

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