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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