AMA policy aims to ensure doctors have a role as AI gains traction

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The American Medical Association wants to ensure that physicians are properly trained and educated to leverage the emerging field of augmented intelligence in healthcare.

At its annual meeting last week in Chicago, the AMA adopted policies meant to integrate AI into medical education so that doctors are better aware of how the technology works and can assess its suitability for patient care.

Specifically, the AMA is looking to encourage the development of AI education modules for physicians and physicians-in-training, while making sure that input from doctors helps to shape these educational materials.

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The AMA wants to promote a range of efforts to help physicians work effectively with AI systems. It wants:

  • Accrediting and licensing bodies to study how augmented intelligence 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.
  • Researchers to study 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 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.
  • Researchers to study 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.
  • Teaching institutions to provide enhanced training across the continuum of medical education regarding the assessment, understanding and application of data in the care of patients.
  • Researchers to study how disparities in AI educational resources may impact healthcare 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 to assist learners in their understanding and use of AI.
  • Industry organizations to promote close collaboration with and oversight by practicing physicians in the development of AI applications.

“To realize the benefits for patient care, physicians must have the skills to work comfortably with augmented intelligence in healthcare,” said AMA Board Member S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, in a written statement. “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 healthcare.”

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