Next-Generation Medical Education Task Force to Design the Ideal Training for Doctors of the Future

As medicine and the delivery of health care continue to be transformed, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — already a national leader in innovative education — is taking a global look at transforming the entire medical curriculum.

And Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., who is leading the charge as chair of the Next Generation Medical Education Task Force, says the timing couldn’t be better.

The expansion of the University of Miami Health System footprint to The Lennar Foundation Medical Center and other outpatient facilities will allow for more useful, realistic training for students as the number of patients requiring treatment in a hospital continues to decline. And the imminent construction of a new medical education building — the Miller School of Medicine Center for Medical Education — will go a long way to facilitate the design of the ideal medical curriculum.

“If we’re going to make changes, this is our opportunity,” said Deshpande, who is Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Competency Assessment. “We’re moving into a new place, so let’s design that place not so it’s ready to provide the education we offered in 1975 or 1995, but the education we’re going to provide in 2025 or 2035.”

The medical education task force, which includes faculty from the schools of medicine, nursing and business, along with a medical student and resident, “will review in detail the structure and content of the curriculum, how we assess the students’ competency in critical areas of patient care, and come up with meaningful recommendations for the future,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., interim Dean of the Miller School of Medicine.

The task force was formed as the Miller School prepared for the February reaccreditation visit of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. It is a natural next step for an institution that led the nation in “flipping the classroom,” creating ’Cane Academy to advance active rather than passive learning.

“A lot of things have changed in the past few decades,” Deshpande said. “Number One, it’s not a pyramid of health care anymore, with a doctor at the top. We’re inter-collaborative teams. Number Two, it’s no longer how much you know, because at the end of the day in 2017, nobody on our campus or in the world knows as much as their phone.

“So it’s not about how much information you can memorize – which is historically where medical education has been – it’s now about the ability to process and synthesize the information and be able to put it together to help a patient. And that means assimilating knowledge, but also understanding the interaction between doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.”

The Miller School’s groundbreaking – and growing – M.D./M.P.H. program will be an important focus of the task force, and the new building may offer new opportunities. “For example, it would be great if for some classes we could combine the M.D. and M.P.H. students,” Deshpande said. “Even if we wanted to do it today, where would you fit 200 people in the Rosenstiel Medical Science Building? You can’t. We also may want to do more small-group learning, and include more simulation in the clerkship curriculum. We can make sure the new building allows for these things.”

The task force will study other medical schools and health systems across the country to see what changes they have made and how they are working. They will also take a close look at residency training and the influential role residents and fellows play in undergraduate medical education.

Gardner and Deshpande say inter-professional education is an important part of medical students’ preparation for graduate training and practice, and faculty from UM’s School of Nursing and Health Studies and School of Business Administration will provide a fresh take on medical education from other parts of the health care industry.

The group will take several months to come up with recommendations, and depending on the scope of change, implementation may take several years.

“It’s not very often that we say let’s take five steps back and take a 30,000-foot view of the entire curriculum,” Deshpande said. “This is our chance. It’s a lot of responsibility but it’s a great opportunity, as well, so we have to make sure that we tackle it in a thoughtful way.”

Here are the members of the task force:

Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics

Christine L. Curry, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical obstetrics/gynecology

Amar R. Deshpande, M.D., Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Competency Assessment

Carmen Gomez-Fernandez, M.D., professor of pathology

David Green, M.S., senior instructional designer

Jeffrey Groom, Ph.D., Associate Nursing Dean for Simulation Hospital

Mary Hooshmand, Ph.D., Associate Nursing Dean for DNP Program

Roderick King, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Dean for Public Health Education

Robert W. Irwin, M.D., professor and interim Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Jennifer Jackson, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine

Atil Kargi, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine

Mathias Lichtenheld, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology

Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., associate director of the Gordon Center for Medical Education

Richard Myers, Ph.D., lecturer in biochemistry

Anna Ray, medical student

Carl Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery

Sabrina Taldone, M.D., resident in internal medicine

Steven Ullmann, Ph.D., professor and Chair, Department of Health Sector Management and Policy

Gauri Agarwal, M.D., Associate Regional Dean for Medical Curriculum

S. Barry Issenberg, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research in Medical Education

Daniel M. Lichtstein, M.D., Regional Dean for Medical Education

Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

Paul E. Mendez, M.D., Associate Dean for Clinical Curriculum

Richard L. Riley, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Pre-clinical Curriculum

Joan St. Onge, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

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