AMA Selects CI MED to Join Consortium Aimed at Transforming Medical Education

8/21/2023 Beth Hart

Written by Beth Hart

[figure="" width="800"]

The American Medical Association has selected Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CI MED) to join a consortium of forward-thinking medical schools working to transform medical education in the United States. As a member of the AMA’s ChangeMedEd Consortium, CI MED will be one of eight schools nationwide that will innovate new ways to assess medical students’ ability to work toward improvements in the health systems where they learn and work. It’s part of the AMA’s multi-pronged effort to spark advances in the way future doctors are prepared to provide safer, more collaborative, and more equitable care to changing patient populations.

“Being accepted into the consortium is huge!” said CI MED’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs George Mejicano, a member of the CI MED Innovation Groundwork team who also chaired the executive committee of the AMA’s ChangeMedEd Initiative from 2017-2022. “It signifies our arrival into an exclusive cohort leading the charge to transform how students and residents are educated and trained. Over the last ten years, the most significant innovations in medical education have occurred through the individuals, schools, and residency programs affiliated with this consortium.”

CI MED’s Health Systems Science Thread Director Grace Park is the principal investigator and leader of CI MED’s Groundwork Team. She attributes the college’s acceptance into the consortium to its growing reputation for innovation in medical education. “Inclusion in the consortium recognizes two things: the arrival of CI MED into the greater medical education community (i.e., that we have begun to influence other schools and teaching hospitals), and that an engineering-based approach offers unique solutions to complex problems facing our health care system – both in the US and abroad," Mejicano added.

Since its inception in 2013, the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium (now known as the ChangeMedEd Initiative) has tapped 53 US medical schools to develop innovative solutions that will drive change in medical education and training. The goal is to prepare a new generation of physicians who are better equipped to provide excellent care that meets the needs of changing patient populations both now and in the future. CI MED is one of the 16 new member schools selected in 2023, to comprise two ChangeMedEd Innovation Groundwork Teams. CI MED will be part of the team focusing on health systems science in clinical environments, while the other team will develop innovations in coaching for competency development. Through the AMA’s Reimagining Residency program, these newly designed improvements will also impact graduate medical education through participating residency programs

Park says the CI MED team will work with leaders from other top medical schools to create improvements in assessing health systems science education – one of three pillars of medical education, along with basic and clinical sciences. “Patient care occurs within a system, and if the system does not function well, patient outcomes suffer,” Park explained. “We want to teach our students to care for patients and the system because if they can promote a healthy system and be system-minded in their patient care and innovations, then all the patients seeking care can benefit."

Grace Park, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Grace Park

“Physician-innovators who are systems-minded will be leaders in developing innovation and change that impact health care not only on the patient level but within the health system and at the greater societal level.”
Dr. Grace Park, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Membership in the consortium also comes with a $50 thousand grant that will support CI MED’s efforts over the next two years. “We envision working with the other schools and residency programs involved in the Groundwork Team to design and implement instruments that measure the ability of students across the country to work and improve the systems where they learn and work,” Park said. CI MED will spend the first year collaborating and brainstorming with the other members of the Groundwork team and then develop generalizable and scalable assessments for health systems science in the clinical environment. “In the second year, the consortium will work on deploying the assessments in our local institutions in order to get feedback and for fine-tuning,” Park said. The innovations will be shared with the wider medical education community to create large-scale changes at all levels.

Consortium membership also provides access to technical assistance from the AMA and leading medical schools across the country and opens the door to funding future medical education research and innovation efforts that CI MED wants to accomplish. 

<em>The CI MED Innovation Groundwork team includes (above) Joe Bradley, Janet Jokela, (below) George Mejicano, and Marjorie Westervelt.</em>
The CI MED Innovation Groundwork team includes (above) Joe Bradley, Janet Jokela, (below) George Mejicano, and Marjorie Westervelt. Grace Park is the principal investigator.

Park says the CI MED team offers unique expertise and experience as an engineering-based medical school. In addition to Drs. Park and Mejicano, the CI MED groundwork team includes the following faculty members: Health Innovation Professor Joe Bradley, who brings expertise in systems engineering and systems thinking; Dr. Janet Jokela, Associate Dean for Engagement, who offers broad undergraduate and graduate medical education experience and expertise in developing curricular change through her work with the American Association of Medical Colleges; and Assistant Dean for Accreditation and Educational Assessment Marjorie Westervelt, who has previous experience with the AMA Consortium.

CI MED team members will meet with representatives of the other schools that make up the Health Systems Science Innovation Groundwork Team during the ChangeMedEd Conference in Chicago in September.

To learn more about the ChangeMedEd Initiative, watch this video featuring Dr. Mejicano, or visit the website.

Share this story

This story was published August 21, 2023.