happening with the new curriculum
We are well on our way to fleshing
out the details of the four phases of our new medical curriculum, "Becoming
a Doctor," which goes live with this fall’s entering class of students.
Led by Drs. Jeff Sands (Medicine) and Gordon
Churchward (Microbiology/Immunology), the committee in charge
of the first phase, Foundations of Medicine, has finalized a schedule
for this class’s first 18 months of training. During this phase,
students will learn the fundamentals of science within a clinical context,
beginning with normal human function and proceeding to month-long blocks
based on organ systems, interweaving the normal and abnormal. The Foundations
phase continues with what has become a favorite of entering students,
"Week on the Wards," in which students in their third week of medical
school are assigned to either a hospital or clinic team. The Foundations
phase will introduce students to medical interviewing and the physical
exam, a process that will be catalyzed by a new 16-room suite in the new
building for observed standardized clinical exam (OSCE). A new outpatient
experience, including mentorship in a primary care clinic every other
week for the remainder of the Foundations phase, is a critical element
of the new curriculum. Additionally, the curriculum will expose students
to the pressing and common problems of homelessness, health disparities,
violence, and abuse that force them to focus on patients as human beings,
rather than embodiments of disease.
Most important, these students
will learn from constant interaction with faculty. Currently divided into
four "societies," classes now will be further subdivided into groups of
eight to 10 students, with a faculty mentor to remain with each subgroup
throughout the four phases of their training. "Our goal," says Dr.
William Eley, a major architect of the curriculum overhaul, "is
to put students in touch with faculty as much as possible. It is relatively
easy to fill these exceptionally bright minds with current scientific
facts, but our hope is that the closer the students are to faculty, the
more likely they are to model the behaviors of academic scientists and
physicians. We want Emory graduates to remain inquisitive and continually
learn. They will have to learn the facts, but we will strive to teach
them those general concepts and precepts that define the excellent physician.
To accomplish this goal, they must be present at the bench and bedside
of our faculty."
During the second phase of the
new curriculum, Applications of Medical Science, students will be immersed
increasingly in clinical experiences at the myriad health care facilities
with Emory Healthcare, at Grady Memorial Hospital, and at the Veterans
Affairs Medical Center, again with intense faculty mentoring. This phase
is analogous to the traditional third clinical year in the old curriculum.
Work on the third phase, Discovery,
is ongoing. Here, students will pursue clinical and basic science research
for at least five months but with an opportunity to expand this time so
as to complete joint MD/PhD, MD/MPH, MD/MBA, or other degrees.
This summer, faculty will work
out the fourth and final phase of study, Translation of Medical Sciences,
which will include sub-internships in key areas, electives in others,
and two new required months: an intensive care unit month, which will
provide important training to care for the critically ill and to revisit
basic science principles; and a "capstone" course to serve as a final
month of integration, updates, and preparation for becoming an MD.
I am deeply grateful for the work
of the faculty in bringing these plans to fruition. Please feel free to
contact Dr. Eley either in person at 309 WHSCAB, by phone (404-712-9979)
or by email (email@example.com) with any ideas or comments you may have
about our groundbreaking new curriculum.
More than 2,000 faculty, staff, students, and invited guests, including
representatives from the CDC and the state, recognized the many accomplishments
of Emory researchers during Research Appreciation Day on Dec. 8. Our dedicated,
highly skilled scientists and teachers work tirelessly toward a common
goal — "Transforming Health Through Discovery" — which was
the day’s theme. The event featured displays, tours of Emory’s
research laboratories, and guest speakers Dr. Steven Wartman, President
of the Association of Academic Health Centers, and Dr. Darrell Kirch,
President of the Association of American Medical Colleges. A "Future Makers"
series lecture by Dr. William Brody, President of Johns Hopkins University,
capped off the event with an entertaining speech on "uncommon service
The day also reminded us of
a very important matter underlying research: NIH funding. "Much of the
medical research at universities would be impossible without the strong
support of the NIH," reports Trish Haugaard, Assistant
Dean for Research, who was one of several event organizers. "The high
standard of work done in our laboratories and centers is evidenced by
the 13 SOM departments that rank in the nation’s top 20 for NIH
To foster research throughout
Emory, the Office of Research Administration was created a decade ago,
and David Wynes, PhD, is the new VP for Research Administration.
He was Senior Associate VP for Research at the University of Iowa, where
he created and oversaw the university’s clinical trials office and
was a leader in developing and implementing policies related to conflict
of interest, research ethics, animals in research, human subject research
accreditation, and research health and safety. Kerry Peluso
also joined the office as the Associate VP for Research Administration.
She comes from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the director
of post-award administration.
The NIH has awarded Emory, Georgia Tech, and Medical College of Georgia
a grant to partner on a nanomedicine development center to focus on DNA
damage repair. With up to $10 million in funding over five years, the
center will be Georgia Tech and Emory’s third NIH-funded nanomedicine/nanotechnology
center in less than two years. It will be called the Nanomedicine Center
for Nucleoprotein Machines and will be based at Tech. Dr. Gang
Bao, College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Department
of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as director. The center also will
receive almost $3 million from the Georgia Research Alliance.
According to Dr. Bao, "We need
to understand the basic engineering design principles underlying how cells
repair DNA damage with high precision and apply this knowledge to the
development of novel therapeutic strategies, probes, and tools for a wide
range of diseases, including cancer."
Now showing, "Grady's
Millions across the country now can see what an Emory residency at Grady
Hospital is all about. "CNN Presents," a television documentary series
that profiles compelling modern issues, will profile two first-year Emory
residents, Robin Lowman (Emergency Medicine) and Andrea
Meinerz (Neurology), and one fifth-year resident, Luis
Tumialan (Neurosurgery), in an hour-long documentary called "Grady’s
Anatomy." The three residents were filmed for three weeks on- and off-duty
at Grady. Of course, "Grey’s Anatomy," a series on ABC, is the inspiration
for the CNN show’s name. "Grady’s Anatomy" is tentatively
scheduled to air on March 17 and 18 at 8 and 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Our heartfelt sympathies go to the families of three faculty who have
died recently. Dr. Herbert Birch, Professor of Gynecology/Obstetrics,
Emeritus, passed away Dec. 20. He practiced as a gynecologic oncologist
at Emory for 40 years and was a founding member of the Gynecological Oncologist
Society. Up to fairly recently, he practiced at a clinic at Grady Hospital.
Another friend, Dr. Abraham
Rosenberg, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, died
Dec. 23. He came to Emory nine years ago and was well known for his work
with HIV-positive patients and in AIDS prevention.
We also are deeply saddened
by the death of Dr. Dean Danner, Vice Chair and Professor
of Human Genetics, who died Jan. 2. Dr. Danner was unique among faculty
to have served as Vice Chair of Human Genetics and at the same time, Interim
Chair of Biochemistry. Dr. Danner came to Emory in 1973 and over the years
became a well loved and respected teacher and scientist.
Other outstanding kudos
Top heart award
Dr. Jingying Zhao (Medicine) has received the Elizabeth Barrett-Conner
Research Award from the American Heart Association. This award recognizes
excellence in research by an investigator in training and encourages continued
biomedical research careers broadly related to cardiovascular function
Christopher Flowers (Hematology/Oncology) is the first recipient
of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Amos Faculty Development Award.
The award is a joint initiative between the ASH and the Robert Wood Johnson
FoundationÍs Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program. Its goal
is to increase the number of minority investigators who have academic
research appointments within hematology.
American Academy of Ophthalmology has awarded Dr. Roberto Bernardino
(Ophthalmology) its Achievement Award for his contributions in education
Hurst in Hall of Fame
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia has selected
Dr. Willis Hurst (Medicine) into its Hall of Fame. The board
selected Dr. Hurst for work in education and for his 56 years of dedicated
service to Emory. This high honor confirms what we have known all along:
Dr. Hurst is one of the greatest educators ever.
receive national accolades
AAMC has awarded M3 student Kate Neuhausen the Herbert
Nickens Award, which is presented to individuals who advance the educational,
societal, and health care needs of minorities. M3 student Josiah
Orina was awarded the American Society of Hematology Minority
Medical Student Award, which will provide a mentor, research funding,
and valuable research experience.
Thomas J. Lawley, MD
Dean, Emory School of Medicine