University of Miami accelerates path to medical specialties

University of Miami Accelerates Path to Medical Specialties

Written by Monica Correa on October 25, 2022

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University of Miami Accelerates Path to Medical Specialties

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s NextGenMD program is accelerating the path for students to gain exposure to their desired specialty medical field with dual degrees and sub-degree concentrations, a method that other colleges in medicine are implementing nationwide.

UM’s NextGenMD is a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) that targets graduate students with an academic concentration, such as biomedical engineering, business of medicine and patient safety, diagnostic pathology, and medicine laboratory, as well as global health and surgery; or dual degree programs such as MD/Master of Public Health (MPH), MD/Ph.D. and MD/Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

“In the way this program is structured, the initial part, before students actively start seeing more full-time patients – typically the first half of medical school – has been shortened,” said Gaudi Agarwal, Associate Dean of the Program and Associate Professor of Medicine. at the Miller School of Medicine.

“We try to incorporate a lot of this knowledge into the classroom while seeing patients.”

The new medical program consists of three phases. The first phase reduces the typical 24 months of basic science and translation to 14 months, “traditional classroom-style learning” learned through “symptom-based virtual clinics that incorporate health systems science, social determinants of health, basic clinical skills and professionalism,” according to the university’s website.

“What we’ve learned is that health care isn’t really delivered in a lecture hall in an auditorium,” Dr Agarwal said. It’s delivered in a social setting, “and you have to learn how to collaborate well; how to think critically and reason together about a problem. Thus, more and more medical schools are turning to small group learning.

During this first phase, the university developed a plan called University of Miami Collaborative Learning (UMCL), where students spend time during the week studying as a team, “working together on problems, questions, cases , which we think will really help them prepare, not just for exams, but for the healthcare environment and teamwork,” Dr. Agarwal said.

The first phase also includes early clinical experiences and time to explore scholarly concentrations, attend research rotations, or identify a possible Ph.D. mentor.

The second phase consists of four 12-week blocks of integrated clinical rotations, according to the university’s website. One of these rotations must be in the practice of medicine – internal medicine, family medicine, geriatrics or palliative care – then another in emergency medicine, anesthesia or surgery; neurology or psychiatry, and obstetrics-gynecology or pediatrics. During these internships, students also take the time to study for their USLME (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Step 1 exam and, if desired, progress to their PhD. training for three or four years.

“During the last 18 months of their four years (Phase Three), students spend their time undergoing a very individualized type of training in areas that interest them,” Dr. Agarwal said.

It is here that students can pursue dual degree programs and other scholarly studies, preparing to become medical trainees.

Third-stage students also take electives and two four-week courses in advanced integrated science, critical care, or sub-courses, followed by their application for medical residency, research projects, and the exam. UMSLE Step 2.

Additionally, they would rely on a Longitudinal Clinical Educator, or LCE, a medical practitioner who mentors a group of up to eight students once a week.

“This mentor is responsible not only for their professional development, but also for teaching them clinical skills and imparting much of the content of what it means to be a physician,” Dr. Agarwal said. “The students have the impression of having a coach, an adviser; someone they can go to with questions. And we’ve really seen that pay off when they start seeing patients, because they become very savvy for just being second-year medical students, and they really kicked in as soon as they started this second phase of their training.

Some students may also choose to take a “fast track to residency,” completing medical school in three years, if they can commit to a medical specialty early and be interviewed by residency program directors and go through the national twinning program, she added. . “They can also focus on that area of ​​interest, spend a summer between that first and second phase with a residency program [of their choosing] so that they understand what it is like to see patients in this discipline. It is a good option for students who are very sure of what their future will look like.

The university continues to build a more extensive list of dual degree programs, Dr. Agarwal said. Other prestigious universities that pursue a medical scientist training program include Emory University School of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, Colorado State University, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan Medical School, among others.

In January, the results of the first class USMLE scores from the UM NextGen® program will be released. “But in the meantime,” Dr Agarwal said, “I’m comparing their results to the clinical exams, and they’re getting A-level results a year in advance, [compared to] former students of the previous program.

In 2022, the Miller School of Medicine enrolled 204 students out of 11,017 applications received. 52 students are enrolled in the MD/MPH program; 120 students are in medical-only programs; seven students are in MD/Ph.D. program; and 25 students are enrolled in the MD/MBA program. Of all medical students, 94 are male and 110 are female; 93 are Florida residents and 111 are non-Florida residents; 109 are considered minorities and 55 are underrepresented minorities, according to a university spokesperson.

The goal is for medical students to be transdisciplinary, she concluded. “We want them to be ready for a really complex health system, to be transformational leaders in those health systems, and you can’t do that if you’re not exposed to really interesting research or other disciplines that think about things in a different way. .”


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