July 18, 2019 | 74° F

Robert Wood Johnson joins medical school consortium

Being part of the “medical school of the future” is a goal that the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) just accomplished.

More than 100 different medical schools applied to join the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, and RWJMS became 1 of 20 allowed to enter this union, according to the AMA.

The school is proud to join this group and open new opportunities to its students, said Carol Terregino, senior associate dean for Education at RWJMS and a co-principal investigator of the project.

“(This) allows Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to provide an amazing opportunity to our students and other (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Services) health professions students to improve care for their future patients,” she said in an email.

The consortium was founded in 2013 by the AMA, according to a press release. At the time, 11 institutions collaborated to change how medical students learned their trade.

The ultimate goal of the consortium is to create a new system for medical schools in the future, according to the AMA’s website. This new system will be better able to help both existing patients and cope with any challenges the future may bring.

According to a press release, this goal will be accomplished by combining training for students with actual health care delivery. The 11 original members were granted $11 million to develop this new system.

Each of the new schools will receive $75,000 over the next three years, according to the AMA.

The 18,000 medical students trained by the now 31-school consortium is expected to treat more than 31 million patients per year, according to the website.

RWJMS’s role will be to create a widespread personal health care delivery model, Terregino said.

“A majority of illness episodes occur outside the hospital or ambulatory care settings,” she said. “This project will deploy students on care coordination teams to augment patient care and maximize integrated care delivery at home."

The students will work with these teams to learn how to help patients with several chronic conditions, especially those who are treated outside of a medical facility, she said.

“Our educational approach is unique as our medical students will be coached by, and collaborate with, the existing Robert Wood Johnson partners care coordination teams to learn the new model,” she said.

Combining these two goals with educating patients on how best to help themselves will impact how effective treatment will be, Terregino said. Patients who are active in their care show better results than those who are not.

“Engaging and empowering patients to participate in self-care and adopt healthy behaviors has been shown to improve health outcomes,” she said. “(This) is especially important for patients with chronic illness receiving care at home.”

Nikhilesh De

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