This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

September 17, 2009

Medical school reinvented: Adding lessons in compassion

She has wanted a career in medicine since girlhood, when she saw how compassionately a doctor treated her grandmother at their home in Cuba. But she interrupted her medical studies to move to Miami with her family. Now, having mastered English, she's back on track as one of 43 students in the inaugural class of the new medical school at Florida International University (FIU).
But the curriculum here is no conventional training, representing one of the most thorough reinventions of medical education in a century.
Known as NeighborhoodHELP, it will pair each student with a low-income family facing barriers to healthcare. With teams of fellow students from nursing and social work, the aspiring doctors will observe and support the families throughout their years in medical school. Alongside more traditional medical lessons, they'll get steady doses related to ethics, cultural understanding, and public-health policy.

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