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Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Join 11 Founding Members of the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium


November 5, 2015


Paul DeMiglio
Senior Media Specialist

(Washington, DC) – For the first time, colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) are joiningthe American Medical Association (AMA) as part of its Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium aimed at transforming undergraduate medical education. Of the osteopathic medical schools that applied, A.T. Still University – School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM), and Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) were selected to join the consortium and receive innovation grants.

ATSU-SOMA’s innovative project is a total immersion-training model. In partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), ATSU-SOMA students will work at 12 urban and rural community health centers, conducting needs assessments and performing community-based research, quality improvement, or service projects that recognize the local social and economic determinants of health. The program will extend through the second, third, and fourth years of their undergraduate medical education. The principal investigator for this project is Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, ATSU-SOMA professor, chair of public health, and director of practice-based research.

MSUCOM and its Statewide Campus System are introducing pre-doctoral and graduate medical education (GME) curricula to enhance cultures of patient safety and patient-safety research within our partner hospitals. This multiyear project includes use of interactive learning platforms, clinician-led didactic sessions, online curricula, and research tool development to meet these goals. Combining these educational approaches across learner levels provides a unique approach to introduce and reinforce core training over time and to evaluate the success of the initiative to improve the culture of safety for our patients, so that we may truly follow the medical tenet “First, do no harm.”

OU-HCOM’s project focuses on developing a new osteopathic medical education value-based care curriculum. Developed in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, this curriculum will be an innovative, competency-based program that integrates primary care delivery and medical education. The project will be implemented at the OU-HCOM Cleveland campus under the leadership of principal investigator OU-HCOM Cleveland campus Dean Isaac Kirstein, DO.

“In order to achieve the shared goal of training future physicians to provide high-quality health care, medical education must evolve to ensure that it is equipping medical students to meet the changing and diverse needs of the American public,” said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM. “This groundbreaking development exemplifies the continued shift toward a more collaborative, interprofessional, and partnership-driven medical education landscape.”

The AMA created the Accelerating Change inMedical Education Initiative in 2013 as a first step toward resolving the gapbetween how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered. Through the initiative, the AMA awarded funds to 11 inaugural medical schools, together forming the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. The grants fund innovative projects that aretransforming medical education to better prepare medical students for their futures as physicians. Over the next three years, the AMA will provide $75,000 each to an additional 21 medical schools to support creativesolutionsto redesign the structure of undergraduate medical education.

The Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium partner schoolswill continue to worksynergistically to transform medical education in the following six key areas:

• Pathways
• Content
• Health care delivery
• Technology
• Adaptive learning
• Integrating leadership and teamwork training

To prepare future physicians to meet the challenges of a changing health care system, leaders in the medical education continuum seek to incorporate cutting-edge technology, innovative training methods, and flexible, competency-based pathways for learning in medical education. New curricular models focused on interprofessional practice and patient-centered care with an emphasis on treating patients holistically positions osteopathic medical colleges to bring unique value to the Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 31 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 44 teaching locations in 29 states. In the 2015-16 academic year these colleges are educating over 26,100 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 25 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOMprovides leadership for the osteopathic medical education community by promoting excellence in medical education, research and service, and by fostering innovation and quality across the continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the American public.