Furthering its efforts to transform the way future physicians are trained, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted policy in June 2019 aimed at incorporating augmented intelligence (AI) into medical education. The new policy identifies the steps needed to work toward educating physicians-in-training and physicians on how AI technology works and how to evaluate its applicability, appropriateness, and effectiveness in caring for patients.
“To realize the benefits for patient care, physicians must have the skills to work comfortably with augmented intelligence in health care. Just as working effectively with electronic health records is now part of training for medical students and residents, educating physicians to work effectively with AI systems, or more narrowly, the AI algorithms that can inform clinical care decisions, will be critical to the future of AI in health care,” says AMA board member S. Bobby Mukkamala, M.D.
The AMA adopted policies on integrating AI into medical education, which include encouraging the development of AI education modules for physicians and physicians-in-training, addressing disparities in AI education that could impact patient care, and ensuring that physicians are involved in the development and implementation of educational materials on AI. As a result of these new policies, the AMA will encourage:
- Accrediting and licensing bodies to study how AI should be most appropriately addressed in accrediting and licensing standards.
- Medical specialty societies and boards to consider production of specialty-specific educational modules related to AI.
- Research regarding the effectiveness of AI instruction in medical education on learning and clinical outcomes.
- Institutions and programs to be deliberative in the determination of when AI-assisted technologies should be taught, including consideration of established evidence-based treatments, and including consideration regarding what other curricula may need to be eliminated in order to accommodate new training modules.
- Stakeholders to provide educational materials to help learners guard against inadvertent dissemination of bias that may be inherent in AI systems.
- The study of how differences in institutional access to AI may impact disparities in education for students at schools with fewer resources and less access to AI technologies.
- Enhanced training across the continuum of medical education regarding assessment, understanding, and application of data in the care of patients.
- The study of how disparities in AI educational resources may impact health care disparities for patients in communities with fewer resources and less access to AI technologies.
- Institutional leaders and academic deans to proactively accelerate the inclusion of non-clinicians, such as data scientists and engineers, onto their faculty rosters in order to assist learners in their understanding and use of AI.
- Close collaboration with and oversight by practicing physicians in the development of AI applications.
The new policy builds on the AMA’s effort over the past six years to transform medical education to ensure future physicians have the skills they need to practice in modern and future health systems. Launched in 2013, the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative aims to incorporate the newest technologies, health care reforms and scientific discoveries that continue to alter what physicians need to know to practice in the evolving health care landscape.
The AMA is committed to driving the future of medicine by reimagining medical education, training and lifelong learning—ensuring physicians are better equipped to provide care in modern health systems.