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MSU “positioned to lead transformation of healthcare” with “innovative Shared Discovery Curriculum"

MSU alumnus Norman J. Beauchamp Jr, MD, MHS, became dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in October 2016.

“I feel really fortunate to be back. One of the things that was really inspiring to me was that as a land grant college, MSU believes that everybody has the ability and deserves the opportunity to give back,” Beauchamp tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “MSU was transformational for me as a student, and the privilege to come back and help create opportunities for others was really inspiring. So I’m glad to be back.”

“What I saw that was appealing to me about Michigan State is we’re what’s referred to as a community-based medical school. We’ve been in seven communities across the state of Michigan since 1964. So there’s incredible trust. And as we look at how we’re going to transform healthcare, the challenges and solutions can’t just be in a big health center. We have to look at the challenges people are facing in communities and urban settings like Flint, Marquette, Traverse City, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

“Then we bring those challenges back to a leading university where you have all the diverse skills to help come up with the solutions and then, through teaching and clinical care, implement those solutions in the communities. We really are positioned to lead the transformation of care.”

The College is implementing an innovative new curriculum “that starts students in hands-on experiences on day one in real settings,” says President Simon.

“We were probably the creators of the curriculum in the 80’s which was problem based, and we led with that, which is how a doctor practices,” says Beauchamp. “What we’re doing now we call the Shared Discovery Curriculum. After four years of learning the sciences, we get our future doctors involved with patients’ challenges right away.

“We teach them about biochemistry. We teach them about how the kidney works. But at the same time and very early on we want them to be meeting with patients and learning about the challenges they face with something like diabetes.

“The students then get a new orientation that helps them really lock in to what is really important about a basic science understanding, what is the importance of  compassion, what is important about the physical examination, and what is important about integrating them. So by the time they’re finished, they’ll be among the very best trained medical students graduating with this great understanding of patient and family-centered care and how all knowledge can integrate to provide the best care at the point of that interaction.”

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.

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