Digging Deeper
into Education

Construction of a leading-edge health education campus at Cleveland Clinic will bring together three renowned academic tracks to share space, ideas and insights.

An artist’s rendering of the Lerner College of Medicine’s new home.

>> Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine was founded on a radically different model of training future doctors.

“Our approach was controversial because we weren’t going to be teaching students in the traditional way of giving textbooks to memorize and lectures to sit through. It was going to focus on teamwork, group learning and a problem-based learning system,” says James B. Young, MD, Executive Dean of the medical college and holder of the George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Endowed Chair.

With no tests, grades or class ranks, the school launched in 2002 with many eyes in the academic community watching. Since then, the college’s portfolio assessment system, which shows that students have mastered core competencies and skills — rather than memorizing a book or answering a multiple-choice test correctly — has proven successful.

To continue to build on that success, Cleveland Clinic will break ground this fall on a new medical education building — to be shared by Lerner College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. The 165,000-square-foot building will sit on Cleveland Clinic’s campus and be supported by philanthropy, including lead gifts from the Cleveland Foundation, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation.

Training Tomorrow’s Caregivers

>> With the new campus will come a focus on leadership skills, practice management, quality outcomes and value-based medicine — all of which are increasingly critical in an era of healthcare reform.

There won’t be many traditional classrooms “where a professor stands up and gives a lecture that nobody listens to,” says Dr. Young. Classrooms instead will have several interactive screens that can beam in a faculty member from down the road or the other side of the planet, allow students to interact with a simulated or real patient, and access a virtual medical library. Students will make use of technology to its fullest potential — just as they’ll be expected to do in practice.

Students also are specially trained to serve as physician investigators — to treat medical problems and search for new solutions to them in the lab. In fact, the college includes a fifth year of study devoted entirely to research.

Preparing tomorrow’s physician leaders with the skills associated with long-term success demands a combination of innovative teaching, technology and teamwork. It requires not only understanding the science of medicine, but also the humanism in medicine.

There won’t be many traditional classrooms where a professor stands up and gives a lecture that nobody listens to.

“How we take care of patients has really suffered some blows over time,” says Dr. Young, on why the college has integrated topics such as how to address people and approach patients into its curriculum. “Because of the intensity of just learning the facts in respect to the practice of medicine, we’ve lost some of the importance of the personal interaction, and things like compassion and communication have suffered a little bit.”

Focused on the Future

>> The new medical education building — expected to be complete in 2017 — will bring together two renowned academic tracks to share space, ideas and insights. Both Cleveland Clinic and CWRU believe this partnership will place Cleveland at the forefront of medical education worldwide.

It also will offer future caregivers the ideal setting to prepare for a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, says Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD.

"We think the new medical college is a great thing for Case, a great thing for Cleveland Clinic, a great thing for the community and, probably most important,” he says, “a great thing for the students."

 

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