Illinois Medicine

2013 Fall

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dean's message O P h o t o : R o b e r ta D u p u i s - D e v l i n ne of most important initiatives of the College of Medicine is to enhance student education, training and translational research. Incorporating the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs to provide an excellent learning environment for our students has been a major focus of our college in the past two years. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our educational team and to the generous support of our donors, we are beginning to realize our efforts, as the renovations for our learning center have started, and through the continued successful educational programs across the four campuses. In recent years, our college has incorporated a number of educational strategies designed to enhance student achievement and place our graduates at the leading edge of the practice of medicine. For example, team-based learning initiatives provide students the opportunity to work in small groups and draw from one another's strengths. This peer-to-peer instruction provides an opportunity for students to develop their teaching and presentation skills as they problem solve through various clinical scenarios. Clinical skills simulation laboratories provide students with invaluable "hands-on" experience as they prepare for their rotations and begin their residency training. The backdrop for these curricular innovations will be a significant renovation to the College of Medicine's facilities. These improvements will provide a modernized auditorium facility, team-based learning spaces, modular classrooms and incorporation of other cutting-edge technology that is essential for promoting an active-learning environment. This will enable us to fully implement our forwardlooking instructional changes for our diverse body of students and further our commitment to provide them with the education and training resources to become leaders of their chosen fields. These exciting and substantial renovation initiatives are detailed in this issue of Illinois Medicine. A related article tells the story of an in-kind donation by Sapan Desai '98, MD '06, PhD '06, MBA, president and CEO of Surgisphere Corporation, which provides students with access to continuously updated, interactive, multimedia textbooks. We are grateful for Dr. Desai's thoughtfulness and generosity. The enhanced environment and training provided by these new resources will enable our graduates to provide excellent service and personalized medical care to the communities they serve. Similar waves of change are sweeping across the College of Medicine's regional campuses. In Peoria, the newly opened Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, affiliated with partner hospital OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, is providing both team-based learning and skill simulation opportunities. This unique program provides strategies that prepare young doctors for the types of unpredictable and emergent situations they will face as full-fledged practitioners. In a different vein, the Rural Medical Education Program on the Rockford campus in June celebrated its 20th anniversary of training doctors to handle the unique challenges that face those who practice in small and rural communities. Currently, graduates of this program work in 78 different communities throughout Illinois, three-quarters of them in towns of less than 20,000 people. Lastly, this year's commencement speaker, Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD '68, who served during the past year as the 167th President of the American Medical Association, was a reminder of the significant contribution made by our alumni. In this issue, he shares his thoughts and inspiration in a profile that also details his tremendous achievements. I hope that you and your families enjoyed a restful summer, and I look forward to meeting with our valued alumni and friends as I travel to San Francisco in October, Indianapolis in November and Florida in February. As we continue to build and improve on our core missions of education, research and clinical care, we look to the future with optimism and the knowledge that with your continued support we will emerge as one of the nation's premier medical educational institutions. Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Dimitri T. Azar, MD, MBA Dean, University of Illinois College of Medicine B.A. Field Endowed Chair of Ophthalmologic Research Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, Bioengineering and Pharmacology illinois medicine | 1

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