Case Study

American Medical Association

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The AMA wanted to improve awareness of FREIDA, its online residency database.


Replatforming a legacy platform presented organizational and technical challenges.

Our Solution

Drupal CMS, Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Edge



The AMA team was able to introduce a number of key features to FREIDA 



The Client

Founded in 1847, the American Medical Association is the nation’s largest association of physicians and medical students in the nation. Its mission is "to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.”

The Situation

FREIDA™ is an online database that allows program managers to post and customize listings to attract applicants, and allows users to find the perfect residency or fellowship from more than 12,000 ACGME-accredited programs. It aims to educate and support students and residents on their journey to practice by filling gaps in content and resources while simultaneously saving program managers time by providing self-service content tools. 

The AMA wanted to improve awareness of FREIDA through SEO and marketing, and grow membership by providing member-only features. Additionally, the organization wanted to increase participation of all key audiences, including medical students, residents, fellows, program directors and medical school advisors.

The Challenge

The AMA’s biggest challenge was to get organizational and leadership commitment to investing in completely replatforming this long-standing legacy application. Internally, there was a significant fear of changing the look and feel, functionality and internal processes that support the application. From a digital standpoint, the AMA’s biggest challenge was building a completely decoupled Angular-Drupal application, as they had no previous experience. 

The Solution

The AMA team first spent several months building out a complete content and data model with all of the necessary integration points, bringing in experienced developers from partner firms Palantir and SPR to augment their own development team. Because of the application’s complexity, they spent time gathering detailed requirements and working collaboratively with the user experience architect to build out the wireframes both for the application and the admin experience.

The Results

As the result of the replatform, the AMA team was able to introduce a number of key features for their end user audiences of medical students and residents, such as the ability to save personalized searches, compare programs on every field, take notes on specific programs and save to a personalized dashboard, and use a residency application cost calculator. The application is also completely optimized for mobile, both in user experience as well as performance, so busy students can move forward with their residency search whenever and wherever they are. 

Program Directors now have a streamlined login experience, the ability to manage multiple programs and a completely redesigned, intuitive program interface where they can make changes to their program details page on-the-fly so their programs stand out to students. 

In addition: 

  • AMA’s internal administration team can now manage all of the application content and account information without any involvement from the development team
  • Bulk actions save hours of manual work
  • Deployments now happen with no application downtime
  • SSO is integrated with Drupal roles, making it easy to assign the appropriate access from the admin interface
  • Sitemap generation is completely automated
  • Leveraging Acquia Pipelines for CI/CD allowed automated nightly deployments from dev to test environments, greatly enhancing the ability to test and deploy to production and allowing them to deliver the application on time