Issue 19 - Nov. 3, 2015
Making the Rounds with Planning Dean Barbara Atkinson

Friends and Colleagues,

The fundamental pillars for a medical school are accreditation, a compelling curriculum, a viable faculty practice plan with an outstanding practice facility and program, and a research operation to complement the clinical and educational activity. We engaged PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) to guide and support our success on several of these items. Last week PwC finished the first phase of the following three big projects:
  1. Accreditation: PwC provided invaluable guidance to our team as we developed the comprehensive plan for our medical school - from the bylaws, to the curriculum, to our staff and facilities. Our 350-page accreditation document is near completion and will be submitted December 1 to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). After their review, the committee will determine if we hope they will decide we are ready for a site visit, which would occur next spring 2016. 
  2. Faculty Practice Plan: After months of committee meetings including input from our Community Advisory Board task force, we now have a proposed model for our faculty practice plan. Our plan will be presented to the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in December and then to our legal team so they can create a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
  3. Teaching practice:The newest and one of the most exciting projects PwC has completed is its recommendation for our community teaching clinical practice. This is where our students will spend their entire third year learning how to provide patient care under the supervision of faculty and residents - it's called a clerkship. Our students will perform their clerkship in a clinic (outpatient setting) working with faculty physicians, residents and a wide range of non-physician health care professionals. Traditionally, clerkships are taught in a hospital (inpatient setting) where students do a block rotation in each of the following specialties: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgery, and Psychiatry and Neurology (See Rounds, Issue 17, Oct. 20).
We decided to teach our students in an outpatient practice site because Medicine has changed - only very sick patients are admitted to hospitals and for a very short time. Students can learn how to better manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension if they study patients over time as outpatients. In the hospital students might see a stroke as a result of poorly controlled hypertension or a diabetic coma due to uncontrolled diabetes, but they do not see how a patient is treated for these diseases. 
Instead of learning the basic specialties in a block rotation, our students will learn the specialties simultaneously over a year. This type of curriculum is called a longitudinal integrated curriculum (LIC).  It has been used for small groups of students often in rural settings, but rarely for a whole class.  It has been shown that students understand and remember the material better when they learn it across the whole year. They also become better integrated into the practice if they spend a whole year in one place (See  Rounds, Issue 17, Oct. 20 for more information about the LIC)
To embed our students in the community we plan to eventually have three community clinics -- one in North Las Vegas near the VA Southern Nevada Health System, one in old Henderson, and one east of the medical district. Our goal at all three sites is to take care of the large Medicaid populations living in those areas. Many of these patients now have insurance through Medicaid but do not receive care when they need it due to our community's physician shortage and other factors affecting their ability to access care. Our community clinics will provide a full compliment of primary care and basic specialty-care services and employ the principles of hospitality.
We're excited about our progress and can't wait to get to the next phase of each. Next week I'll explain how PwC has taken our vision for a different type of medical education and built it into a business model that will support the education and research missions of the medical school. Stay tuned.  

Best wishes,

Physicians: Save the Date    

The UNLV School is hosting two Town Hall meetings for physicians to learn about the school's program. The first meeting is for the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM) academic faculty. The second meeting, co-hosted by the Clark County Medical Society, is for all physicians.

Tuesday, Nov. 10: UNSOM Academic Faculty. Contact for details.

Wednesday, Dec. 9: All physicians. The meeting is at the Innevation Center, from 6-8 pm. RSVP by calling the Clark County Medical Society (702) 739-9989.


Meet Neil Haycocks, MD, PhD
Director of Biomedical Science Integration, Associate Professor

Dr. Haycocks is an expert in medical academics, especially how to plan and implement a new medical school's curriculum and secure and maintain accreditation. He played a crucial role in designing the curriculum for the medical school at Quinnipiac University, as well as in its accreditation, block coordination and admissions. Now he's doing the same for the UNLV School of Medicine.

Read more.

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