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Heritage College selected to join nationwide group to transform medical education

(CLEVELAND, Ohio — Nov. 4, 2015) The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine 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.

In Chicago today, the AMA announced the names of the 21 new schools 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 in 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, D.O., 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, D.O., 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.

“Our goal throughout this initiative has been to spread the robust work being done by our consortium to accelerate systemic change throughout medical education,” said AMA CEO James L. Madara, M.D. “By tripling the number of schools participating in this effort, we know that we will be able to more quickly disseminate the Consortium schools’ innovative curriculum models to even more schools—leading to the type of seismic shift that the medical education system needs so that future physicians can better care for their patients.”

The medical schools announced today will each receive $75,000 over the next three years to advance the AMA’s innovative work aimed at transforming undergraduate medical education to better align with the 21st century health care system. Through a competitive grant process, the schools were selected from among 170 eligible U.S. 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.

A full listing of the 21 new schools is included below:

  • A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (Mesa, AZ)
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Cleveland, OH)
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School (Norfolk, VA)
  • Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA)
  • Florida International University (FIU) Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Miami, FL)
  • Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA)
  • Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (East Lansing, MI)
  • Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA)
  • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Cleveland, OH)
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (New Brunswick, NJ)
  • Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education/City College of New York (New York, NY)
  • Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Philadelphia, PA)
  • University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (Chicago, IL)
  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Farmington, CT)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center/College of Medicine (Omaha, NE)
  • University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (Grand Forks, ND)
  • University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School (Austin, TX)
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine (Brownsville, TX)
  • University of Utah School of Medicine (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle, WA)

The list of selected schools, along with short descriptions of each school’s project, can be found online at

“Together, the 32 schools will collectively work to quickly identify and widely share the best models for educational change to ensure future physicians are prepared for a lifetime of learning, to lead a team of professionals in delivering care and to explore innovative ways to care for patients, populations and communities in the evolving health care system,” said Susan E. Skochelak, M.D., M.P.H., AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education. “By working together, we believe that during the next several years this effort will produce physicians who are not just skilled clinicians, but system-based thinkers, change agents, technology champions and inter-professional team players.”

In 2013, the AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative to bridge the gaps that exist between how medical students are trained and how health care is delivered. As part of this effort, the AMA provided $11 million in grants to 11 of the nation’s leading medical schools to form a dynamic consortium allowing the schools to share best practices and ideas for developing innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country.

In less than two years, the AMA’s efforts have sparked interest across the medical education community. Just yesterday, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced an initiative, “Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments,” to facilitate improvements in our nation’s graduate medical education system. The AMA will partner with the ACGME and 20 other health care and education organizations to share expertise and important feedback to improve the medical education system as a whole.

“We are delighted that the AMA will partner with the ACGME in Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments,” said ACGME CEO Thomas J. Nasca, M.D., MACP. “This initiative will build on the outstanding work the AMA has done in undergraduate medical education, as well as the work of our other partners, to ensure that physicians completing residency and fellowship training are equipped to fulfill the future health care needs of the American public.”


*Editor’s Note: A summary report was created to highlight the current progress of the founding 11 consortium schools.

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About the Heritage College

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE.

About the AMA

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America.


Jim Phillips
Heritage College Communications Specialist
(740) 593-2202

Kelly Jakubek
AMA Media & Editorial
(312) 464-4443 

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