AMA Is Telehealth’s Top Ally

July 20, 2017 by InTouch Health

At the American Medical Association (AMA), leadership and vision aren’t just words in a mission statement. They are qualities that permeate the entire organization, especially when it comes to telehealth.

In 2013, the AMA launched its Accelerating Change In Medical Education initiative aimed at bridging the gaps between how medical students are trained and how they actually deliver healthcare after graduating. The AMA has given sizable grants to 32 leading medical schools in an effort to create the “medical school of the future.” One of those schools is the University of North Dakota School of Medicine which has heavily invested in advanced simulation and telehealth technologies to train tomorrow’s doctors.

The AMA recognizes that formal training in telehealth is still lacking in many medical schools. That’s why they recently enacted a policy encouraging accrediting bodies for both undergraduate and graduate medical education to include core competencies in telehealth in their programs.

“The vast majority of medical students are not being taught how to use telehealth during medical school and residency,” says AMA past president Robert Wah. “Evidence-based instruction in telehealth’s capabilities at all levels of physician education will be essential to harnessing its potential.”

The AMA’s new policy reaffirms the organization’s long-held position that unnecessary barriers to telehealth education should be swiftly eliminated wherever possible.

While many healthcare organizations pay lip service to telehealth, the AMA goes far beyond talk. The money they’ve poured into the “Accelerating Change” initiative is already paying for telehealth training for 19,000 medical students who will one day care for an estimated 33 million patients each year.