Mayo Medical School working to teach practical side of being a doctor

Published: Aug. 4, 2016 at 1:06 PM EDT
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Even though health care has become much more complex, the medical school curriculum hasn't really changed in 100 years.

A new medical school is about to change that.

Christopher Bailey was one of the first to take classes in Mayo's new science of healthcare delivery curriculum. It teaches the practical side of being a doctor from dealing with insurance companies to managing stress.

"Not just issues of what medication should I give and what kind of infection should I be treating," said Dr. Christopher Bailey, who graduated in 2015.

Dr. Michele Halyard says the new classes were designed with Arizona State University and include subjects like patient-centered care and emphasizing doctor and patient as a team.

Dr. Halyard said, "We really focus on teaching them how to engage in shared decision making. So, gone are the days when the physician is the king or queen and they tell the patient what to do."

"We teach them how to deal with stress, how to prevent burn-out, how to focus on wellness," Dr. Halyard said.

There's also healthcare quality, teamwork, and leadership. Dr. Halyard says other subjects were condensed or are online, so the new studies won't add class time.

"No extra hours of homework, yes," said Dr. Halyard.

Dubious doctors-to-be are probably thinking: we'll believe that when we see it.

Mayo launched a pilot program of the science for healthcare delivery curriculum at its school in Minnesota last year.

Students at both campuses will start taking it next year. They'll even be able to get a master's degree in it.

Mayo is also working on how to share the idea with other medical schools.


REPORT #2340

BACKGROUND: According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, over 80,000 students were enrolled in a medical school in 2016, with enrollment increasing by 25 percent since 2002. Medical school curriculums involve two years of pre-clinical studies and two years of clinical experience. In the first two years, students learn in a campus setting with lectures and classes similar to an undergraduate experience. In the remaining two years, a more hands-on approach is offered. Subjects that students study include microbiology, in-depth anatomy systems, and introductions to practicing medicine. Students may take on an area of concentration in their courses in accordance with their career goals.


A NEW APPROACH: In 2017, Mayo Medical School will be opening a new campus in Arizona. The school aims to avoid relying on conventional physician training and offer a more thorough approach to education. With the challenges of an evolving healthcare system and the stressful work settings for many physicians, the institute claims that they will provide a curriculum that addresses the modern needs of doctors to lead successful, fulfilling careers. It is a joint program with Arizona State University and will award students a certificate in the Science of Health Care Delivery. Mayo Medical School was among the 11 medical schools selected for the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, which aims to develop new techniques for medical education. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 40 percent of physicians face high stress levels and burnout from their careers. The curriculum at the new Mayo Medical School in Arizona is designed to address these issues by educating future physicians on the not-so-glamourous aspects of the job, like dealing with logistics and legalities, and managing stress.


FUTURE FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS: Although it receives nearly 5,000 applicants per year, approximately 50 students are accepted into Mayo Medical School annually. A survey by the AAMC found that in 2016 there were 781,602 applicants to medical schools, while only 20,631 students were admitted. According to the Medical School Enrollment Survey by the AAMC, medical schools across the nation are actively initiating plans to address new community health needs. Now, 84 percent of schools reported they planned, or have already initiated, specific admission programs or policies for a diverse student body, increasing the number of students from groups underrepresented in medicine or from disadvantaged backgrounds. One of the top concerns for medical school deans is the availability of clinical training positions for students. The AAMC supports a multifaceted strategy involving federal support for residency training and innovations in healthcare delivery.


For More Information, Contact:

Michele Halyard