Leave it to an educator to start a presentation off with a pop quiz. On March 20, Andrew Filak, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, posed a single question to nearly 200 of the college’s faculty and staff in attendance for his presentation on medical education titled "Medical Education: It's Why We’re Here.”
Filak’s question: "What is unique about a medical school?”
Filak’s answer: "medical students.”
The serious business of succeeding at medical education, Filak told the audience, really boils down to the most simplistic answer.
"Medical students are the lifeblood of the UC College of Medicine. … We simply would not have a medical school if we weren’t in the business of teaching medical students,” he said, then continued the presentation by citing the college’s most recent achievements and future challenges.
The areas of achievement Filak highlighted were: student performance, accreditation, curriculum and residency requirements.
On student performance: UC College of Medicine graduates continue to be above national averages on multi-level tests required by the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), with Filak adding, "Our students come in smart and continue to do well" in all phases of the exams.
On accreditation: UC has reason to celebrate. The college recently received an eight-year accreditation for its medical degree program, which is the maximum achievable, by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
On curriculum: The college recently completed a total curriculum redesign. Some of the changes include having students engaged in patient interactions early in their medical education, as opposed to later as has been the traditional model for medical education across the country. The new curriculum, Filak said, was designed and implemented within an 18-month period, due to the commitment and dedication of over 100 faculty members and students.
On residency requirements: The institution has 49 programs fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The challenge will be to adapt to a newly announced ACGME accreditation system. And Filak warned the audience that funding for graduate medical education is at risk with potentially significant negative effects on health care manpower and safety-net hospitals.
Filak’s presentation also briefly touched on tuition as it relates to recognizing student debt loads, which averaged around $169,000 for the College of Medicine's class of 2012.
In closing, he remarked on the great physical accomplishment of the CARE/Crawley Building and the 2011 creation of the UC Health system, which ties the expertise of the College of Medicine’s faculty with the clinical providers and the physical locations such as UC Health University Hospital and West Chester Hospital.
"We are so proud of everything having to do with the medical students, UC Health and the university.”
Links to videos of previous presentations in this series are available in the "Dean's Corner" section of the College of Medicine's website.