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Education That Unites Future Doctors and Nurses

Health System

As part of the new curricula for doctors and physicians, Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, vice president and dean of the School of Medicine; and Dorrie K. Fontaine, dean of the School of Nursing, have partnered to establish interprofessional educational experiences for medical and nursing students. Their goal is to encourage collaborative patient care by cultivating shared knowledge and attitudes through course work, clinical training, and community service projects.

One workshop, for example, immerses nursing and medical students in the difficult conversations surrounding end-of-life care. Students learn the importance of team-based care as they participate in mock cases that replicate the dilemmas that families face.

In May 2011, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation awarded the Schools of Medicine and Nursing a $746,000 grant to introduce teamwork training in additional simulated clinical settings. Led by Dr. Valentina Brashers, professor of nursing, the grant will also support the development and implementation of new faculty training programs, simulated cases and course work, and new assessment tools for evaluating interprofessional education competencies.

Such innovative programs are, in part, responsible for the Schools of Medicine and Nursing moving up in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate schools. The School of Medicine's ranking in research moved up three spots, to twenty-second place, while its primary care program rose to twentieth. The School of Nursing's graduate program is now ranked fifteenth in the nation, its Ph.D. program ranked tenth, and its clinical nursing specialist program in psychiatric/mental health was ranked eighth.

Both the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing have opened new facilities that advance their educational goals. In October 2010, the School of Medicine dedicated the Claude Moore Medical Education Building, the most technologically advanced medical education facility in the nation. The five-story, 58,000-square-foot structure serves as the nucleus of the new Next Generation curriculum, which integrates basic and clinical sciences with an increased focus on clinical performance.

Now that the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building has opened, the School of Nursing has turned its attention to renovating McLeod Hall, which was built in 1972. In the summer of 2010, the school completed McLeod's first-floor renovations, with updated classrooms, a conference room, café, and offices for the Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry.