The Road to Becoming a Doctor

The Road to Becoming a Doctor
The Road to Becoming a Doctor

                         PROJECT MEDICAL EDUCATION
                         America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals
                         working together to inform Congress, policymakers,
                         and opinion leaders about medical education for
                         the benefit of all Americans.

                                                  Association of
                                                  American Medical Colleges
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
This publication was adapted from the Road to Becoming a Physician brochure produced by the office of marketing and
communications at University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
opular images of physicians have       While most people realize that it takes a   physicians-in-training with whom
P   changed over time—from the small-
town doctor of Norman Rockwell paint-
                                           long time to become a doctor, relatively
                                           few fully understand the process of
                                                                                       patients may come into contact at
                                                                                       teaching hospitals or other clinical
ings to the medical team of television’s   medical education and training. This        education sites and explains the
“Grey’s Anatomy.” But common to these      brochure outlines this process and          ways in which patients can help educate
very different images is a view of the     explains how physicians prepare for         tomorrow’s doctors.
physician as a professional whose knowl-   different types of careers. It describes
edge and skills take years to acquire.     the various types of physicians and

                                   Association of American Medical Colleges            1
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
Types of Physicians
Medicine offers a vast variety of career   and specialists. The term primary care      Doctors may hold many other degrees in
choices. Most physicians treat patients    refers to medical fields—usually family     addition to medical degrees. Some have
full time, while others also teach, con-   medicine, general internal medicine, and    Ph.D. or master’s degrees in the sciences
duct research, manage hospitals and        general pediatrics—that cover the most      or in fields such as public health, hospi-
clinics, and develop health care policy.   common health problems.                     tal administration, or education.
There is no single road to becoming a
doctor, but most medical career paths      Specialists (or subspecialists) concen-     Of course, many other health care
share key characteristics.                 trate on particular types of illnesses or   professionals in addition to physicians
                                           problems that affect specific tissues or    deliver patient care. Professionals in
Doctors are often considered in two        organ systems in the body. These            nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, physical
main groups: primary care physicians       doctors may treat patients with compli-     therapy, and clinical psychology also
(sometimes referred to as generalists)     cated illnesses who are referred to them    provide patient services. Individuals
                                           by primary care physicians or by other      with degrees in the laboratory sciences
                                           specialists. Whatever their focus may be,   and medical technology are also
                                           all physicians must hold one of two         essential to the health care system.
                                           degrees. Most have an M.D. (doctor of       Some of these health professionals—
                                           medicine) degree, while others hold a       particularly physician assistants or nurse
                                           D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degree.         practitioners—may provide many basic
                                           While the two types of degrees reflect      medical services as part of teams with
                                           different theories and practices of         physicians. Working together with physi-
                                           medicine, medical licensing authorities     cians, these members of the health pro-
                                           recognize both training paths.              fessions community create a seamless
                                                                                       continuum of care.

Association of American Medical Colleges          2
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
The Academic Medical Center
The term academic medical center usually        well as conduct research. Clinical faculty are
describes a medical school—either publicly      usually staff physicians at the school’s affili-
or privately owned—and its affiliated teach-    ated teaching hospitals and clinics. They
ing hospitals, clinics, and other university-   treat patients, teach future physicians, and in
sponsored programs. These institutions are      many cases, conduct research.
the foundation of our nation’s health care
system. They not only prepare tomorrow’s        In their hospital roles, these doctors are
doctors, but also care for patients and         referred to as attending physicians. They
generate new scientific knowledge.              oversee the work of residents and fellows—
                                                medical school graduates pursuing
Different aspects of the medical education      advanced education in a medical or
process occur in various parts of the           surgical specialty. They also instruct
academic medical center. While medical          medical students on their way to earning
students learn basic principles in the          M.D. degrees.
classroom, their education would not be
complete without experience in teaching
hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices.

Physicians who work in academic medicine
fulfill several roles. Full-time faculty mem-
bers are part of a medical school’s basic
science or clinical departments. Basic
science faculty teach medical students as

Association of American Medical Colleges             3
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
Patients Are Essential in Medical Education
A central mission of any academic             they play in medical education and          Medical schools and teaching hospitals
medical center is patient care. But,          training extremely rewarding. They          cannot train physicians alone. They
patients also make valuable contribu-         can make a young medical student feel       must also train nurses, physician
tions to a center’s education and re-         comfortable while performing his or         assistants, and other health practitioners.
search roles. They put a human face on        her first physical examination, or they     Moreover, they depend on the individu-
illnesses and issues that students learn      can help an experienced doctor see an       als and communities who bring their
about in their studies. They also assist      old problem in a new light. Patients        experiences, beliefs, and wisdom to
with new discoveries by volunteering to       should understand that, in many cases,      students, residents, and even established
participate in research studies and trials.   the people who care for them are at dif-    doctors. A spirit of cooperation between
                                              ferent points on the road to becoming a     doctor and patient assures that future
Patients are often the most effective         doctor and that they play a vital role in   generations will have access to the best
teachers of even the most seasoned            helping them reach their destinations.      possible physicians.
physicians. Many patients find the role

Association of American Medical Colleges             4
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
The Medical Education Process
A physician’s education officially begins     medical school immediately after
with medical school, which is typically       completing their bachelor’s degrees,
four years in length. In the United States,   others choose to begin their studies
the Liaison Committee on Medical              after spending time in other careers.
Education (LCME), sponsored by the
Association of American Medical           Medical schools strive to recruit
Colleges (AAMC) and the American          students who reflect the varied
Medical Association (AMA), accredits      communities they will serve. A more
all M.D.-granting medical schools. The    diverse physician workforce will help
American Osteopathic Association          challenge assumptions, broaden
(AOA) accredits D.O.—granting medical     perspectives, and shape more culturally
schools. Annually, these schools gradu-   competent health care providers for the
ate approximately 19,000 students.        future. Schools also seek students who
                                          demonstrate a sincere interest in medi-
Medical students come from a wide         cine and public service and who possess
range of backgrounds, although most       certain key characteristics. The ability to
begin medical school after completing     analyze information and solve problems,
at least a four-year bachelor’s degree    establish relationships and communicate
program at a college or university. Some with patients and colleagues, display
students have studied the sciences, while good judgment, and make sound
others majored in liberal arts or human- decisions under pressure are characteris-
ities. While many individuals enter       tics sought in future medical students.

                                     Association of American Medical Colleges           5
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
The Oath of Hippocrates

Physicians traditionally take the Oath of
Hippocrates as they enter the medical
profession. Some medical students take
the oath before beginning their studies,                Individuals seeking admission to
committing themselves to medicine’s code                medical school should also demonstrate
of conduct from the first day of their                  their commitment to complete a rigor-
education. The oath reads:                              ous educational program.                  To affirm their adherence to the highest
I do solemnly swear by that which I hold most                                                     ethical principles embedded in the
sacred: that I will be loyal to the profession of       Students admitted to medical school       practice of medicine (altruism, honesty,
medicine and just and generous to its mem-              tend to have records of high academic     integrity, and the intention to help,
bers; that I will lead my life and practice my          achievement, including high scores on     comfort, and heal others), new medical
art in uprightness and honor; that into what-           the Medical College Admission Test        students usually participate in a sym-
soever house I shall enter, it shall be for the         (MCAT), a national examination ad-        bolic “white coat ceremony” during
good of the sick to the utmost of my power;             ministered by the AAMC and taken by       which they are “cloaked” in the white
I, holding myself aloof from wrong, from cor-           medical school applicants. Prospective
ruption, and from the temptation of others to                                                     jacket typically worn by doctors and
                                                        students also visit campuses for personal recite the Hippocratic Oath (or a mod-
vice; that I will exercise my art solely for the
                                                        interviews—an integral part of the        ern version of the oath) before they
cure of my patients, and will give no drug,
perform no operation for a criminal purpose,            admissions process.                       begin their classes.
even if solicited, and far less suggest such a
thing; that whatsoever I shall see or hear of           Medical students learn both the science    In general, the medical school curricu-
the lives of others which is not fitting to be          and the art of medicine. They study sub-   lum in the first two years stresses both
spoken, I will keep inviolably secret.                  jects such as biochemistry, anatomy, and   factual knowledge and key skills such as
                                                        genetics, while also acquiring problem     critical thinking, establishing rapport
These things I do promise, and in proportion            solving, teamwork, and communication
as I am faithful to this, my oath, may happi-                                                      with patients and colleagues, and con-
                                                        skills. Medical school curricula empha-    ducting medical histories and physical
ness and good repute be ever mine—the
                                                        size professionalism and a commitment      examinations. In the final two years of
opposite if I shall be forsworn.
                                                        to lifelong learning.                      medical school, students rotate through

             Association of American Medical Colleges          6
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
Curriculum Highlights

The following curriculum is a representative of
many medical schools, but there is a wide variety
of course format and approaches:
                                                              clerkships in both primary care and spe-    Participants take the first two years of
Year 1 – Normal structure and function of                     cialty medicine, applying what they have    the M.D. curriculum alongside other
body tissues                                                  learned in the classroom to supervised      medical students. After completing one
• First semester – biochemistry, cell biology,                experiences with real patients.             or two of the third-year clinical clerk-
  medical genetics, gross anatomy
                                                                                                          ships, they enter the graduate phase of
• Second semester – structure and function of
  human organ systems, neuroscience,
                                                              During their education, students must       the program—usually in a basic science
  immunology                                                  take the United States Medical              or an interdisciplinary research field.
                                                              Licensing Examination (USMLE), a            Once they complete their Ph.D. degrees,
Year 2 – Abnormal structure and function                      three-step test all potential physicians    they return to clinical studies. The entire
• First semester – infectious diseases,                       must pass in order to practice medicine     process takes seven to eight years.
  pharmacology, pathology                                     in the United States and Canada. The
• Second semester – clinical diagnoses and                    first step—which covers basic medical       After earning their joint degrees, most
  therapeutics, health law                                    principles—comes near the end of the        graduates begin a clinical residency pro-
                                                              second year of medical school, followed     gram. They often go on to apply this
Years 3 and 4 – The clinical years
• Generalist core – experience in family and com-
                                                              by the next step—on clinical diagnosis      combined clinical and research
  munity medicine, general and ambulatory care                and disease development—in the fourth       experience to careers as faculty members
  internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology,               year. A final step on clinical manage-      at academic medical centers.
  pediatrics, surgery, research, and other interests          ment is usually taken during the first or
• Other requirements – neurology,                             second year of residency.                   Preparing for Residency
  psychiatry, subspecialty segment (anesthesia,                                                           Students make important career
  dermatology, orthopaedics, urology,                         M.D./Ph.D. Option                           decisions as they approach their final
  radiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology),                  For students interested in biomedical       medical school year. They choose the
  continuity of care segment (sub internships,                                                            specialties in which they want to
                                                              research, some institutions offer joint
  emergency room and intensive care
                                                              M.D./Ph.D. programs.                        practice and begin applying to graduate
  experiences), and electives.

                                                       Association of American Medical Colleges           7
The Road to Becoming a Doctor
Medical Student Debt

                                                                                         Medical student debt has increased in
                                                                                         recent years. Factors that may account for
                                                                                         the rising indebtedness of medical school
medical education programs usually          ensures that applicants have a uniform       graduates include declining institutional
referred to as residencies—specialized      date of residency program appointment.       grant support, increases in tuition and cost
training programs that follow gradua-       This day in March, known as “Match           of living, and the ease with which money
tion from medical schools. Most             Day,” is an occasion of great anticipation   can be borrowed.
students secure residency positions         for students. On Match Day they learn
                                                                                         Many medical schools are educating
through the National Resident Match-        where they will spend the next several
                                                                                         students on expense management
ing Program (NRMP), which pairs stu-        years of their medical training. Pro-        techniques as well as implementing new
dents’ preferences for specific residency   grams are both competitive and limited       payment mechanisms such as frozen tuition
programs with the preferences of resi-      in the number of residency slots they        fees while the student is in school. Yet, the
dency program directors for specific        may offer.                                   financial reality exists that indebtedness has
applicants. Through the systematic com-                                                  continued to rise more rapidly than physi-
parison of rank-order lists, the NRMP       Medical school financial aid and student     cian income. As the debt burden becomes
                                            services’ administrators and programs        more unmanageable, fewer people may be
                                            such as the AAMC’s Careers in Medi-          attracted to a career in medicine.
                                            cine program can help ensure that the
                                                                                         Most medical students borrow at least
                                            professional decisions medical students      a portion of the money they need to
                                            and residents make are compatible with       finance their education. In 2008, the
                                            their interests and skills. The Careers in   median amount of that debt was $140,000,
                                            Medicine program provides crucial in-        more than $10,000 higher than 2007. High
                                            formation and guidance about specialty       levels of debt may impact individual deci-
                                            options, residency program selection,        sions to pursue a fellowship program, to
                                            and the physician workforce.                 subspecialize, or to practice in an under-
                                                                                         served area.

Association of American Medical Colleges           8
The ACGME requires residency programs to
                                                                                               provide educational experiences and evalua-
                                                                                               tions ensuring that resident physicians are
                                                                                               competent in the following domains:
Graduate Medical Education Programs                                                            • Patient Care that is compassionate, appro-
                                                                                                 priate, and effective for the treatment of
Upon graduating from medical school,          award of the M.D. degree. The Accredi-
                                                                                                 health problems and the promotion of health
students earn their M.D. (or D.O.)            tation Council for Graduate Medical              • Medical Knowledge about established and
degrees as well as the title “doctor.” But    Education (ACGME) approves about                   evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate
their education is far from complete. For     eight thousand residency programs and              (e.g., epidemiological and social-behavioral)
most new doctors, the years after med-        their institutional sponsors nationwide.           sciences and the application of this knowl-
ical school are spent in residencies—         The ACGME sets the standards for U.S.              edge to patient care
usually at hospitals—where they pursue        residency programs including residents’          • Practice-based Learning that involves inves-
advanced training in their chosen             educational experiences, duty hours, and           tigation and evaluation of their own patient
specialties. During residency they master     safety.                                            care, appraisal and assimilation of scientific
                                                                                                 evidence, and improvements in patient care
the comprehensive responsibilities of a
                                                                                               • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
physician and the special skills and          Like medical school, residency programs            that result in effective information exchange
knowledge required to practice in a           are selective and often competitive,               and teaming with patients, their families, and
specialty of medicine.                        requiring a formal application, letters of         other health professionals
                                              recommendation, and personal inter-              • Professionalism, as manifested through a
Physicians must complete an accredited        views. But unlike medical school, they             commitment to carrying out professional re-
residency program to become certified         offer stipends and benefits.                       sponsibilities, adherence to ethical principles,
to practice in a specialty. Residency pro-                                                       and sensitivity to a diverse patient population
grams vary in length depending on the         Many physicians reflect on their residen-        • Systems-based Practice, as manifested by
                                                                                                 actions that demonstrate an awareness of
specialty, but generally last three to five   cies as years filled with hard work and
                                                                                                 and responsiveness to the larger context and
years for initial board certification. Sub-   invaluable lessons. A resident physician’s         system of health care and the ability to effec-
specialty training may extend the period      time is spent treating patients, teaching          tively call on system resources to provide care
to as long as 11 years following the          less-experienced colleagues, attending             that is of optimal value.

                                      Association of American Medical Colleges             9
conferences, and pursuing ongoing            and is now charged with overseeing its     Once their education is complete,
educational activities. This training can    daily operations.                          physicians obtain certification in their
be very demanding, but it is a period                                                   chosen specialties. In the United States,
that reveals medicine’s challenges and       Rather than immediately enter a spe-       24 specialty boards establish criteria that
rewards.                                     cialty residency program, some medical physicians must meet to be certified in a
                                             graduates take a transitional year of      given field. The certification process
Resident physicians assume greater           training designed to give them addi-       requires doctors to demonstrate that
responsibilities as they proceed through     tional experience in general medicine or they have completed training and passed
their training programs. The first year      surgery. These programs are usually pre- a written examination. Some boards re-
of postgraduate medical education is         cursors to residencies in specialties like quire an oral examination as well. Physi-
sometimes called an internship,              dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, cians who complete the process become
although this term is no longer used as      and others.                                diplomates of their specialty boards.
widely as in the past. An intern (not to
be confused with internist, the term for     Physicians who seek more specialized        Medical licensure is a separate process
a physician who practices internal medi-     training may pursue fellowships after       governed by boards established by each
cine) or a first-year resident is a recent   their residencies. For example, a doctor    state, and procedures vary depending on
medical school graduate who is just          who intends to specialize in cancer         the state. After completing their training,
starting specialty training. A senior        treatment may complete an internal          doctors must apply for a permanent
resident is in the third, fourth, or fifth   medicine residency followed by an on-       license to practice medicine.
year, depending on the specialty. Finally,   cology fellowship. Physicians in these
the chief resident is a doctor who has       programs are referred to as fellows.
completed his or her residency program

Association of American Medical Colleges            10
Sample Residency Lengths                            Selected Medical Specialties

Following are residency lengths for                 Some of the most common             intestines, liver, gallbladder,     and diagnosis of organs,
selected specialties:                               medical specialties and their       and related organs)                 tissues, and body fluids
                                                    areas of emphasis are:            • Hematology – the blood and        • Pediatrics – the health care
Family medicine – 3 years                           • Allergy and immunology –          blood-forming parts (such as        of children from birth to
                                                      allergies and other disorders     bone marrow) of the body            adolescence
Emergency medicine – 3 years
                                                      involving the immune            • Internal medicine – diagno-       • Psychiatry – mental, emo-
General Internal Medicine – 3 years                   system                            sis and nonsurgical treat-          tional, and/or behavioral
                                                    • Anesthesiology – adminis-         ment of diseases in adults          disorders
Pediatrics – 3 years                                  tration of medications          • Nephrology – the kidneys          • Pulmonary diseases – the
Pediatric subspecialties – 5 years                    (anesthetics) to prevent pain                                         lungs and other chest
                                                                                      • Neurology – the brain,
                                                      or induce unconsciousness                                             tissues
                                                                                        spinal cord, and nerves
Obstetrics and gynecology – 4 years                   during surgical or diagnostic
                                                                                      • Obstetrics and gynecology –       • Radiology – study and use
Pathology – 4 years                                                                     women’s health, pregnancy,          of various types of radiation,
                                                    • Cardiology – the heart and                                            including X-rays, and imag-
                                                                                        and childbirth
Anesthesiology – 4 years                              blood vessels                                                         ing systems in the diagnosis
                                                                                      • Oncology – all types of can-
                                                    • Dermatology – the skin, hair                                          and treatment of disease
Dermatology – 4 years                                                                   cer as well as other benign
                                                      and nails                                                           • Rheumatology – the joints,
                                                                                        and malignant tumors
Neurology – 4 years                                 • Endocrinology – the internal                                          muscles, and tendons,
                                                                                      • Ophthalmology – vision
                                                      (or endocrine) glands such                                            including arthritis
Ophthalmology – 4 years                                                                 problems and other disor-
                                                      as the thyroid and                                                  • Surgery – treatment of
                                                                                        ders affecting the eye
Psychiatry – 4 years                                  adrenal glands, and disor-                                            diseases, injuries and other
                                                      ders such as diabetes           • Orthopaedic surgery
                                                                                                                            conditions using operative
Radiology – 4 years                                                                     (orthopaedics) – the
                                                    • Family medicine/family                                                or manual procedures
                                                                                        muscles, bones, and joints
Orthopaedic surgery – 5 years                         practice – broad-based                                              • Urology – the urinary
                                                      health care of individuals      • Otolaryngology – the ears,
                                                                                                                            system and the male
Otolaryngology – 5 years                              and families                      respiratory and upper
                                                                                                                            reproductive organs
                                                                                        alimentary systems, and
                                                    • Gastroenterology – the
Urology – 5 years                                                                       related structures
                                                      digestive tract (stomach,
Surgical subspecialties – 6 to 7 years                                                • Pathology – examination

                                         Association of American Medical Colleges             11
Financing Graduate Medical Education

Revenues from many sources finance the costs of graduate medical education (GME).
Historically, the Medicare program has been the largest single explicit financing source for GME.
Medicare makes the following types of payments to teaching hospitals—direct graduate
medical education payments (DGME) and indirect graduate medical education
payments (IME).

The DGME payment compensates teaching hospitals for “Medicare’s share” of the costs directly
related to the training of residents. Medicare does not make payments related to the clinical
education of medical students. The added direct costs of GME incurred by teaching hospitals
include: stipends and fringe benefits of residents; salaries and fringe benefits of faculty who
supervise the residents; other direct costs; and allocated institutional overhead costs, such as
maintenance and electricity. Other direct costs include, for example, the cost of clerical personnel
who work exclusively in the GME administrative office.

Teaching hospitals also maintain an environment in which clinical research can flourish, and assure
all patients have access to highly specialized care, regardless of their ability to pay. Because of
their education and research missions, teaching hospitals offer the newest and most advanced
services and equipment. Additionally, the residents and supervising physicians at teaching
hospitals are available around-the-clock, prepared to care for the nation’s most critically ill or
injured patients. These unique teaching hospital missions increase the cost of patient care at
these institutions.

Recognizing the differences in the patient care costs between teaching and non-teaching
hospitals, the Medicare program includes a special IME payment adjustment in its prospective
payment system (PPS). Over 1,100 teaching hospitals receive IME payments, which are
determined by inserting the hospital’s individual intern/resident-to-bed ratio (IRB) into a
formula established under Medicare statute. As a hospital’s involvement in GME increases, its
percentage add-on to the basic PPS payment also increases.

  Association of American Medical Colleges              12
Continuing Medical
Even after they complete postgraduate        selected topics such as risk reduction,    tion, community service, policymaking,
training and begin to practice medicine,     pain control, or human sexuality. Many     or, in many cases, a combination of the
physicians continue their education          states are considering moving towards a    above. The responsibility to produce
throughout their careers. The rapid pace     system of maintenance of licensure, a      compassionate, scientifically knowledge-
of change in medicine makes continuing       process which requires documentation       able, and skillful physicians is not only
education programs essential. Medical        of CME activity in addition to other       the domain of medical schools and
schools, teaching hospitals, and profes-     requirements such as demonstrations        residency programs, but also the
sional organizations offer continuing        of competence, adequate clinical per-      collective responsibility of society as we
medical education (CME) programs to          formance, and practice standing. These     as individuals actively participate in the
physicians on a regular basis, usually for   are parallel to movements in specialty     education of future and established
a fee. CME providers are reviewed by         boards leading to re-certification on a    physicians through our roles as patients
such organizations as the Accreditation      regular basis, a process called mainte-    and concerned citizens. A complex and
Council for Continuing Medical Educa-        nance of certification.                    collaborative process, medical education
tion (ACCME), which ensures that these                                                  in our country has produced some of
programs meet high standards.                Medical Education as a                     the world’s most talented physicians,
The majority of states require               Collaborative Process                      researchers, and scientists, a testament
documented, formal participation in                                                     to the rigorous and comprehensive
accredited continuing medical education      Though arduous, the road to becoming       education and training they receive in
activities. Generally requiring a finite     a physician traversed by our nation’s      America’s medical schools and teaching
number of hours per year (usually            doctors-in-training ultimately ends in a   hospitals.
around 50), some states also require that    personally and professionally fulfilling
a pre-set number of hours be spent in        career in patient care, research, educa-

                                    Association of American Medical Colleges            13
Additional AAMC Resources                                Photo Credits
Association of American Medical Colleges
                                                         Front Cover, Inside Cover, pages 2, 4, 5
                                                         Robert Boston, Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Aspiring Docs                                            Louis © 2007
Careers in Medicine Program                              Page 1                    Scott and White University Medical Center
Liaison Committee on Medical Education                   Page 3                                             Kenneth Larsen, Loma Linda University © 2006
Medical College Admission Test                               Pages 4, 8
National Resident Matching Program
                                                         Andrew Campbell, Northwestern University © 2008
                                                         Page 6
Project Medical Education                                Jim Ziv, Northwestern University © 2007
                                                         Page 12
Other Resources                                          Office of Patricia Wolff, M.D., Washington University School of Med-
Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education   icine in St. Louis © 2004
Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education     Page 12                                            Loma Linda University © 2005
American Board of Medical Specialties
American Medical Association
American Osteopathic Association
United States Medical Licensing Examination

Association of American Medical Colleges            14
This document was produced by the AAMC’s Project Medical Education, a focused educational program for members of
Congress, congressional staff, state legislators and staff, as well as other policymakers, influential stakeholders,
community leaders, and board members. Its goal is to provide an increased understanding of the U.S. medical education
process and the role that our medical schools and teaching hospitals play in producing the world’s greatest doctors.

Project Medical Education attendees visit a medical campus and assume the roles of a medical student, resident physician,
and faculty physician. By doing so, attendees are immersed in a hands-on learning experience showing them what it takes to
become a doctor and the challenges that face our nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.

The model is flexible, offering institutions the ability to tailor the program to fit their particular goals and issues. A
successful program will touch upon the major areas of medical education financing, tuition and debt, research funding and
how research is conducted, community service and caring for the uninsured, among others.

Project Medical Education is extremely interactive and has grown increasingly popular. Since the project was initiated in 1998,
nearly 900 individuals have attended a program at leading medical institutions across the country.

If you are interested in learning more about attending or hosting a Project Medical Education program, please contact:

                                            Sallyann C. Bergh, M.P.A.
                                            Senior Communications Specialist
                                            Project Medical Education
                                            2450 N Street, N.W.
                                            Washington, D.C. 20037
                                            Phone: 202-862-6289
                                            Fax: 202-828-1123

                               Association of American Medical Colleges        15
You can also read
Next slide ... Cancel