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School of Medicine





eaching is at the forefront of our attention as we continue to revise our medical education curriculum, and this issue of Emory Medicine reflects that concentration. Herein, we introduce a pioneering program, where both experienced physicians and medical students gain new technical skills and learn surgical procedures using computerized robotic and simulation tools. We report on our successful 150th anniversary gala, which contributed $300,000 to $28 million raised toward a goal of $55 million for a new medical education building. This futuristic facility will enable us to fully implement a revised, flexible curriculum that reflects student-centered learning—one that will prepare our students to be lifelong learners and leaders answering the medical challenges of the 21st century.
     The process to revise our curriculum has been ongoing for several months now. We sought input from faculty in every department, from students, and from colleagues in public health, nursing and the college. We held a retreat where chairs described the kind of graduate we want to produce, and we convened a steering committee, which quickly multiplied into 10 subcommittees. One point on which everyone agrees is that we must take full advantage of our current strengths. One of the greatest of these, of course, is our faculty.
     The School of Medicine already has a dedicated faculty who are delivering innovative instruction. As Emory takes its next step toward being a destination university, we build on their example. We encourage dialogue between administrators, faculty, and students to share ideas among teaching and our curriculum revision. Let this magazine be your forum for those ideas, and we’ll print your responses in our next issue. We open the discussion with a letter from the human anatomy faculty (below) and look forward to hearing from you soon.

  From our readers

The article written by Sylvia Wrobel, “Warp, Speed, Engage” (Emory Medicine, Spring 2005) recognizes the importance of engaging our medical students in clinical learning early in their education. Undoubtedly, this need assists our future physicians in achieving an identity with patient issues while concomitantly fostering a sense of compassion and understanding for their ills. In this context, we believe that our course in human anatomy (which has not been called gross anatomy in more than two decades) serves as a model for advocating these behaviors.
     Specifically, we often bring patients into the classroom to demonstrate abnormal movement as it relates to the students’ learning of the musculoskeletal system and encourage students to ask questions of the patients. Many of our lectures are given by Emory physicians, and these specialists often assist in the dissecting laboratory to create a clear linkage between anatomy and clinical medicine. Recognizing that such a linkage also includes an acceptance of the gifts of the body donors in our course, we were among the first courses in the country to include an Emory clergy person as part of our laboratory faculty. For more than 20 years, our students have arranged and administered a service of reflection and gratitude at the end of the course.
     While we do lack geographic proximity to sufficient numbers of computers and viewing boxes, examining images and radiographs has long been part of our students’ laboratory experiences. We believe that what we lack in resources is more than compensated by our leadership as a fundamental basic course that embraces clinical relevance.

The Human Anatomy Faculty
Steve Wolf, Kyle Petersen, Art English, Bob McKeon, Ted Pettis

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