School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
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"The Medical School of the Future"

Making the Case : Curriculum - What's Different : Community Health Centers : In the News

Making the Case

New Concept for medical education

ATSU's newest medical school began development in response to a need expressed by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The aim of the educational program is to produce leaders in medicine who will take the foundation of a broad education in medicine to improve health through patient care and educational research. It will prepare physicians to practice compassionate clinical medicine of the highest standard and to identify and solve fundamental questions in the mechanisms, prevention and treatment of disease. SOMA will implement the Clinical Presentation Educational Model and follow an innovative path built around a core of dedicated faculty who design and teach course content modules and who work with renowned visiting faculty.

Community Health Centers anticipate a need for an additional 14,000 physicians by 2020, and are partnering with ATSU to identify, educate, and train high quality, community minded physicians.The medical school continues ATSU’s partnership with NACHC by featuring Contextual Learning Campuses at 10 of the nation’s premier Community Health Centers.  This nationally representative network of Community Health Centers will serve as campuses for students during their second, third and fourth years of medical school.  These campuses, staffed by SOMA faculty, will provide team-learning classrooms, primary care clinical experience homes, and a continuity base for local CHC affiliated specialty rotations.  

feasibility study

A feasibility study led by Douglas Wood, D.O., Ph.D., current Dean of SOMA and former president of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, justified the expressed need for revisions to medical curriculum and improvements in healthcare delivery. The study incorporated advice from experts in business and education sectors, as well as acknowledging the growing body of literature that addresses these problems.

Improving Medical Education: Enhancing the Behavioral and Science Content of Medical School Curricula
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, March 24, 2004

Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, April 8, 2003 (Press Release)

Educating Doctors to Provide High Quality Medical Care
The Institute for Improving Medical Education, Association of American Medical Colleges, July 2004