EVEN WITH THE AMOUNT OF SPACE THAT'S BEEN ADDED IN RECENT YEARS, EMORY'S MEDICAL STUDENTS, OR THE "NOMADS," AS THEY CALL THEMSELVES, STILL DON'T HAVE A HOME—BUT THEY ARE ABOUT TO GET ONE—AND THE TIMING COULDN'T BE BETTER. The medical school is in the midst of an aggressive curriculum overhaul that reflects the warp-speed scientific advances changing how medicine is practiced. The new building is designed to help make the new curriculum serve as a nationwide model for teaching physicians of the 21st century.
     What will this new program look like? There will be less “talking at” students in lectures, more small-group venues for learning based on patient cases. Students will be immersed in clinical experience from day 1, and basic science will be taught more in the context of clinical medicine. Teaching of human anatomy will take advantage of an explosion of sophisticated imaging technologies. The program will use more patient simulation, sometimes with highly trained actor-patients, often with electronic mannequins or virtual reality programs, so that “see one, do one” no longer means that students have to perform their first complex procedure on an actual human being.
     “Some things are a moral imperative, and preparing the best doctors in the best way is one of them,” says Thomas Lawley, dean of the medical school. With more than half the funding already in hand for the new building, he is making a compelling case to alumni, former patients, and everyone who wants their children and grandchildren to be treated by the most outstanding physicians possible. Emory’s medical school is the place it can happen, he tells them. With this long-awaited building finally under construction, old barriers are gone, and all possibilities open.

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Coming home
With occupancy planned for 2007, the 172,000-square-foot medical education building will double the number of seats for teaching and provide the kind of classrooms and simulation laboratories needed for medicine’s emerging new curriculum. It also will be a beauty, filled with natural light and the human space that enhances learning: a soaring atrium, a student commons, the school’s first-ever lounges where faculty and students can mingle and munch informally, and an entry plaza green space with park-like landscaping, outdoor seating, and a central fountain. The $55 million building also will be the first completely wireless facility on the Emory campus.

Build for the future:
> CARVE YOUR NAME ON A DOOR—AND INTO HISTORY. The new medical school building still has numerous naming opportunities for laboratories, admissions and office suites, lecture halls, and other spaces.
> TAKE A NUMBER. Named for the medical school’s recent anniversary, the 150 Society is made up of those who have given $150,000 or more toward the new medical school building. That’s enough to let you name one of 18 rooms designed for problem- based learning classes or for faculty-facilitated “doctor-patient” encounters between first-year medical students and “patients” played by actors.
> LIGHTEN THE LOAD. The average medical student graduates from Emory and enters residency training owing $114,000, which explains why increased scholarship support at any level is such a high priority.
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