University of Southern California
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Master of Academic Medicine

Keith Administration Building 209
1975 Zonal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9023
(323) 442-2374
FAX: (323) 442-2051

Program Director: Julie G. Nyquist, Ph.D.


Professors: Donna Elliott, M.D., Ed.D. (Pediatrics); Julie G. Nyquist, Ph.D. (Pediatrics/Medical Education); Dwight Warren, III, Ph.D. (Cell and Neurobiology); Beverly Wood, M.D., Ph.D. (Pediatrics/Medical Education)

Associate Professors: Kathleen Besinque, Pharm.D., M.S.Ed. (Pharmacy); Jerry Gates, Ph.D. (Family Medicine); Win May, M.D., Ph.D. (Pediatrics/Medical Education)

Assistant Professors: Dixie Fisher, Ph.D. (Pediatrics/Medical Education); Lori Marshall, Ph.D., M.S.N. (Pediatrics); Maura Sullivan, Ph.D., M.S.N. (Surgery); Janet Trial, Ed.D., C.N.M./M.S.N. (Obstetrics/Gynecology); Samuel Yanofsky, M.D., M.S.Ed. (Anesthesiology)

The Master of Academic Medicine is offered by the Keck School of Medicine in collaboration with the Schools of Dentistry and Pharmacy. The goal is to develop leaders who will create and enhance academic and training programs for healthcare professions globally. Academic medicine is defined in broad terms as relating to those who lead training worldwide in medicine or in other health care related fields. Enacting this vision is possible due to the flexible delivery model selected. The program will employ a hybrid model, combining on-campus face-to-face sessions, blended with online course work. During the 32-unit program, the majority of sessions will be delivered using interactive online delivery methods. All students will also be on campus for one-week intensive sessions in the spring of each year, that will focus on community building and the development and evaluation of skills.

The program addresses the unique population of medical and health professions faculty who are focused on leading the academic enterprise for health professionals at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels. Our graduates will be positioned to guide future generations of health professionals around the world toward better meeting the health needs of our global society. For those with a clear focus on the academic enterprise, a complementary degree in academic medicine offers the specialized skills needed to lead worldwide development of enhanced training for health professionals, increases professional capacity and provides new opportunity for promotion. The audiences for this degree will typically have primary professional degrees in health fields (e.g., M.D., D.D.S., D.P.T., R.N., M.S.N., P.A., D.V.M., D.O., Pharm.D., D.C., D.O.M.). The Master of Academic Medicine will provide the needed complementary training for clinician educators.


Applicants for admission to the Master of Academic Medicine program are generally expected to have an advanced degree in a health profession. Proof of graduation is required. For applicants who do not have a degree in a health profession, a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution is required, a grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) is usually expected as well as satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test and three letters of recommendation. For specific information on admission and application procedures, contact the Office of Educational Affairs, (323) 442-2372.

Students are admitted for the academic year beginning in the fall, although those admitted prior to March 15 may enroll in summer courses. Although there is no formal application deadline, complete applications received before March 1 will be given priority. Application inquiries should be made to: Master of Academic Medicine Program, University of Southern California, Office of Educational Affairs, 1975 Zonal Avenue, KAM 209, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9023, telephone (323) 442-2374.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A graduate GPA of at least 3.0 is required at all times. Any student whose graduate GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation who do not raise their GPA to 3.0 after two semesters of written notification of academic probation will be academically disqualified.

A minimum of 32 units of graduate-level course work is required.

Degree Requirements

Academic Courses (26 units)Units
ACMD 501Introduction to Academic Medicine Worldwide 3
ACMD 502Becoming a Leader in Academic Medicine Worldwide 3
ACMD 503Leading Change in Academic Medical Centers 3
ACMD 511Competencies in Academic Medicine and Health I 3
ACMD 512Competencies in Academic Medicine and Health II 3
ACMD 513Professionalism in Academic Medicine and Health 3
ACMD 514Accreditation and Program Evaluation in Academic Medicine 3
ACMD 591 Designing Research on Innovations in Academic Medicine 2
ACMD 592Implementing Research on Innovations in Academic Medicine 2
ACMD 598Fieldwork: Designing Innovations for the Health Professions 1

Electives (6 units)

Six units of electives may be selected from the recommended courses below, or these may be replaced with approved courses at the 500 level or within USC that equal 6 units.
ACMD 593Foundations of Scholarly Writing in Academic Medicine1
ACMD 598Fieldwork in Designing Innovations for the Health Professions 1-2
ACMD 604 Supporting the Educational Enterprise in Academic Medicine 3
ACMD 605Faculty Development for Health Sciences Faculty Educators 2
ACMD 615Maintenance of Competence in the Health Professions 2
INTB 603Systematic Approach to Scientific Writing 2
MPTX 517Structure and Management of Clinical Trials 4
PM 513 Experimental Designs 3

Courses of Instruction


The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

ACMD 501 Introduction to Academic Medicine Worldwide (3) Introduces the master’s program; includes historical development of training in the health professions; current issues, challenges and opportunities in academic medicine and health worldwide.

ACMD 502 Becoming a Leader in Academic Medicine Worldwide (3) Current approaches to leadership within the context of global academic medicine and health professions education; individual applications, group dynamics, teamwork, and interpersonal skill enhancement.

ACMD 503 Leading Change in Academic Medical Centers (3) Exploration and practice of skills for promoting programs within academic medicine and health professions’ education; building trust, organizational change, conflict resolution, negotiation, and managing resources.

ACMD 511 Competencies in Academic Medicine and Health I (3) Acquisition of cognitive knowledge and problem-solving skills in health professions worldwide; instructional methods, assessment techniques, designing curricula for health professions education.

ACMD 512 Competencies in Academic Medicine and Health II (3) Learning theory, teaching methods, assessment techniques related to acquisition and reinforcement of competencies related to patient care, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.

ACMD 513 Professionalism in Academic Medicine and Health (3) Acquisition and evaluation of interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism including ethics and cultural competence; within the context of health care disparities and health initiatives.

ACMD 514 Accreditation and Program Evaluation in Academic Medicine (3) Evaluating health professions training programs within guidelines of relevant accreditation organizations; models of evaluation, designing plans and tools for evaluation of program elements.

ACMD 591 Designing Research on Innovations in Academic Medicine (2) Introduction to design and scholarly review of innovations in health professions education; needs assessment, problem selection, use of research methods to study an innovation.

ACMD 592 Implementing Research on Innovation in Academic Medicine (2) Mentored research on an innovation in academic medicine leading to the master’s degree. The project will result in a formal written research report. Prerequisite: ACMD 591.

ACMD 593 Foundations of Academic Writing (1) Academic writing for conference papers, grant proposals and journal articles. Recommended preparation: A completed study of an innovation in academic medicine or other health-related field that is ready to move to publication.

ACMD 598 Fieldwork: Designing Innovations for the Health Professions (1-3, max 3) Individual projects designing curricular or other innovations for the home program as an application of Year 1 concepts and as part of the capstone experience. Prerequisite: ACMD 591.

ACMD 604 Supporting the Educational Enterprise in Academic Medicine (3) Explores support functions in academic medical centers and health professions schools; financial, scientific, educational, faculty and student affairs departments, and offices of medical education.

ACMD 605 Faculty Development for Health Sciences Faculty Educators (2) Role of faculty development programs in health professions schools; tools for delivering effective continuing education and faculty development; models for mentoring clinical faculty.

ACMD 615 Maintenance of Competence in the Health Professions (2) Maintenance of competence and continuing professional development (CPD) of physicians and other health care professionals; trends, needs, strategies, assessing outcomes, examining effectiveness of CPD programs.