From the Dean

Earlier this week the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences welcomed three representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA) who are part of the AMA’s initiative on Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACE). ACE is a multi-million dollar program wherein the AMA provides competitive grants to selected schools that submitted proposals for funding. Currently, there are 37 schools in the ACE consortium (out of over 150 accredited medical schools in the U.S.). Our project, initiated under the leadership of principal investigators Dr. Gwen Halaas (since retired) and our Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Dr. Rick Van Eck, and continued by Dr. Van Eck and Dr. Jon Allen, focused on interprofessional education (led by Dr. Eric Johnson, Director of IPE) and virtual care for rural health care settings. The project focused on three longitudinal continuity-of-care chronic disease simulations and involved 339 students in five disciplines across three schools over the last two years. As you know, the School long has been an innovator in health provider education, going back more than two decades when we introduced the patient-centered small group learning concept. But it is great to see that there is increasing national interest in advancing how we educated medical and health science students, and we are proud to be a part of this project.

The AMA is planning to extend the initiative to post-medical school residency training in the future, with a particular focus on addressing three areas of concern: the transition from medical school to residency; ensuring the readiness of graduating residents for entry into practice; and the well-being of trainees, mentors, and colleagues. Once the AMA formalizes the program, we hope to apply to it as well. Although the funding provided by the AMA has been relatively modest, we have profited immensely from the collaborative nature of the project and the interaction with other member schools in the consortium. Nice work, Rick and colleagues!

Finally, last night was UND Night at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Twins played, and defeated, the Athletics, and many UND fans were on hand for two receptions prior to the game hosted by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation: one for UND in general and the other for the SMHS alumni, supporters, donors, and friends. The School had around 70 attendees at our reception—quite a turnout! It was a fun time, and it was great to meet and greet dozens of friends. The energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was palpable, and it is clear that there is great support for UND and the SMHS by the public, even outside of North Dakota. A nice event to be sure, and one of the most successful UND Nights at Target Field ever!

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
Interim President and Vice President for Health Affairs, UND
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences