On Nov. 28, Richard Brower, M.D., FAAN, vice provost for academic programs at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, presented a virtual keynote address at the inaugural International Conference in Medical Education at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
Sun Yat-sen University is interested in developing a new medical school in Taiwan based on a curriculum similar to that used by the Foster School of Medicine. Foster School of Medicine students are taught using a “clinical-presentation” model, which focuses on the way a patient presents symptoms to a physician. The approach has been shown to enhance knowledge comprehension, improve retention of the basic sciences and promote diagnostic reasoning skills used by expert, highly experienced practicing physicians.
Dr. Brower’s address was “Development and Implementation of a Clinical Presentation-Based M.D. Curriculum: Reflections from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Inaugural Decade”.
“Medical education is in a state of transformation worldwide,” Dr. Brower said. “Traditional approaches established in the early 20th century are rapidly giving way to new curricula based on the scientific principles of adult learning – with particular emphasis on active and transdisciplinary learning strategies, as well as early attention to clinical reasoning, communication skills, community engagement, and the social contexts underlying health outcomes and disparities.”
The conference was another indication of the Foster School of Medicine’s continued relevance and contribution to the global transformation of medical education. Speakers from A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona and International University of Health and Welfare School of Medicine in Japan also presented.
“The audience members were interested in how the Foster School of Medicine organized the founding faculty to develop new curriculum and the process faculty followed in negotiating curricular content and sequencing,” Dr. Brower said.
In addition to his duties as vice provost, Dr. Brower is an associate professor in the Department of Medical Education and a clinical associate professor of neurology. As chair of the Department of Medical Education from 2010-2016, he played pivotal roles in the early development and delivery of the first- and second-year medical school curriculum and the reorganization and development of the department’s faculty, staff and workspaces. Dr. Brower also served as the Foster School of Medicine’s Associate Dean for Medical Education from 2014-2019 and was instrumental in preparations for the school’s most recent full accreditation survey.
The Foster School of Medicine recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The school opened its doors to an inaugural class of 40 students in 2009. Since then, more than 600 students have graduated and continued their medical careers locally and across the nation.