由 Joan Trombetti
, Writer | April 15, 2009
All key aspects of FIU, especially its community-focused curriculum centered around NeighborhoodHELP have been designed to serve as a model for 21st Century medical education and represent a leap forward in the proud tradition of educating doctors.
On FIU's curriculum, NeighborhoodHELP is a community-centered program that will place each medical student in a team that will include students from nursing, social work, public health, and others. Each medical student will spend four years working with an underprivileged household in North Miami-Dade County. The interdisciplinary cooperation is similar to the model that is taking shape in modern medicine, as doctors collaborate with counterparts, such as social workers, to address a patient's needs.
FIU's new approach follows guidelines set forth by a Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation report titled "Revisiting the Medical School Educational Mission at a Time of Expansion," which resulted from a conference convened to address complex issues concerning medical education. The Macy Foundation is a private philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of individuals and the public by advancing the education and training of health professionals.
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Some aspects of the FIU College of Medicine's program that make it unique and conform to the Macy report are the following:
· The 43 students who will make up the College of Medicine's inaugural class were chosen as much for their commitment to medicine and improving their community as for their standardized test scores and grades. This goes along with the recommendation in a Macy Foundation report that medical schools must reduce their reliance on standardized tests, college grade point averages, and traditional undergraduate course requirements in selecting applicants for admission and that all medical schools have an obligation to educate future physicians who are prepared both to assess and to meet the health needs of the public.
· FIU College of Medicine students come from diverse backgrounds, in line with the Macy Foundation recommendation that medical schools provide a physician workforce drawn from all sectors of American society.
· NeighborhoodHELP will be key in fostering greater inter-professional teamwork and collaboration, another recommendation in the Macy Foundation report.
The FIU College of Medicine is expected to generate 66,000 new jobs and have an economic impact of $8.9 billion by 2025.