Research will be emphasized in the NSU College of Allopathic Medicine’s innovative curriculum. Pictured: Johannes W. Vieweg, M.D., FACS, founding dean, speaks with Julia James, Ph.D, post-doctoral researcher, and Ron Thomas, B.Sc., research assistant, in the NSU Cell Therapy Institute laboratory.
The Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Allopathic Medicine has received preliminary accreditation – a major milestone that allows the new medical school to accept an inaugural class of 50 students into its innovative and coveted Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program, which will matriculate in August 2018.
The accreditation follows a site visit and a favorable review by a survey team of educators from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the organization that accredits M.D. programs in the U.S. and Canada. The college is now the eighth M.D. program in Florida and one ofonly 148 in the United States.
“The accreditation decision is a transformational moment in the history of NSU which brings the university another step closer toward NSU’s Vision 2020 and its goal of becoming a nationally recognized, top-tier university of teaching, research, service, and learning,” said NSU President Dr. George Hanbury.
“NSU has made remarkable commitments to medical education, research and patient care, building a strong foundation for an innovative, research-intensive medical program,” said Johannes W. Vieweg, M.D., FACS, Founding Dean of the college. “As a new medical college, we are in a unique positon to leverage institutional resources and external partnerships to create a new educational model that will transform the delivery of health care in our community and beyond.”
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) East Florida and its hospital network is the preferred academic medical partner of the new college, providing student training experiences in clinically relevant settings. HCA soon will break ground on a 200-bed hospital which will evolve into a teaching and research hospital on NSU’s campus located within walking distance to the university’s educational and research facilities, including NSU’s newly opened $100 million, 215,000-sq.-ft. Center for Collaborative Research.
“HCA is committed to investing in educational programs that provide the best medical training available to future physicians, with the ultimate goal of increasing the quality of health care for patients,” said Michael G. Joseph, President and CEO of HCA East Florida. “Nova Southeastern University has developed an innovative curriculum and partnership model that will provide students with an extra level of preparation for their clinical rotations and residency programs, giving them an edge over their peers.”
The new college’s educational program will be taught in conjunction with the other seven life science colleges in an interdisciplinary fashion within NSU’s Health Professions Division, using existing renovated space to accommodate the new M.D. student class and the college’s active-learning curriculum. To meet demands in all of its life science academic programs as well as the M.D. program, NSU is planning to build a more than 200,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art interdisciplinary medical education building to complement its vast health professions facilities and health care centers.
Developed by a team of more than 100 medical educators, physicians and researchers, NSU’s innovative curriculum integrates didactics on ethics and humanities, genomics, inter-professional collaboration, biomedical informatics and leadership. The curriculum also includes a heavy emphasis on research, technology and innovation throughout the educational program leading to the M.D. degree.
Medical students will train to become active learners and work in small groups using active inquiry under the direction of a faculty facilitator. Students will be challenged to solve real-world medical problems using clinical cases and a team-based approach. Compared to passive, lecture-style teaching, the college’s curriculum is designed to better prepare medical students to interact with patients and health care team members. During clinical rotations, residencies and as practicing physicians, these lessons will provide necessary skills for leadership and upholding excellent standards of care.
“This college and our curriculum were purposely designed to train and develop physician leaders who will transform health care as we know it,” added Dr. Vieweg. “Today’s medical students are hungry for real-world examples and experiences that will better prepare them to practice medicine and pursue careers as hospital administrators, research leaders, policy makers or business executives.”
After meeting specified requirements, students will enter clinical rotations halfway through their second year of medical school, providing additional real-world training during the four-year program. Students will have the opportunity to apply for clinical rotations throughout HCA East Florida’s network of hospitals, at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, and eventually at the HCA teaching and research hospital planned to be built on NSU’s campus.
Research is a core mission of the college. Students will be required to complete research courses and will have additional elective opportunities to expand their research portfolio with the support of faculty mentors. The college is home to faculty researchers from the NSU Cell Therapy Institute, who conduct translational research focused on the discovery of cell-based therapies to prevent, treat, and cure life-threatening and debilitating diseases.
The NSU Cell Therapy Institute is a unique collaboration with leading medical research scientists from NSU and Sweden’s world-renowned Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm. KI is globally recognized for its Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine annually.
In addition to NSU’s existing $3.7 billion economic impact on the state of Florida, by 2030, the college is expected to directly and indirectly generate another $350 million in economic activity annually, supporting more than 2,000 local jobs, and generate $17 million each year in tax revenue impacts. The college is also establishing strong ties with the South Florida community through partnerships with local health care and community organizations to develop outreach strategies to better serve patients and improve health outcomes.
For additional information on the college, visit www.md.nova.edu. Primary applications for the charter class will be available through the American Medical College Application Service® in late October 2017.