Medical Students Begin Phase Three in Colorado Springs
The first cohort of Colorado Springs Branch students began
their phase three training in Colorado Springs on April 18. We caught up with Erik
Wallace, MD, associate dean for the Colorado Springs Branch and Chad Stickrath,
MD, assistant dean of education, for an update on the new campus and how
they’ve prepared for the arrival of the 23 students.
What are your day-to-day roles within the Colorado Springs
Dr. Wallace: My primary role is building team and community
relationships. We’ve had to build a network. When you talk with other schools
around the country, the most challenging part of a regional medical campus is
the recruitment and retention of preceptors. Doctors are stressed and under
pressure. Even if they are interested, another responsibility is a lot to ask.
Dr. Stickrath: I spend half of my time seeing patients and
will be spending the rest of my time with the students. And much of my time is
spent managing the day-to-day of the curriculum. With more than 10 specialties
across a year’s time, we had to build a great team we have a great team. But
it’s still a lot of managing.
Are you ready for students?
Dr. Wallace: Absolutely. We’re very excited. Some students
have been studying at the Lane Center. It’s been great to see them in our space
and getting prepared for their tests. And I think the students are excited as
well—mostly because they’re finally out of the classroom.
How have you been preparing the faculty?
Dr. Stickrath: We have welcomed almost 200 new doctors in
the southern Colorado community to the University of Colorado faculty. They
have been busy participating in our faculty development programs. We just
finished our 10th or so Core Preceptor Training Session.
Dr. Wallace: We know faculty development is critical to our
success. We’re bringing a different education model to Colorado Springs, so
regardless of whether you’re new to teaching or if you’ve been teaching for 20
years, they are learning how to teach within this new model while keeping in
mind the constraints and challenges of a modern clinical practice.
What is this new model?
Dr. Stickrath: We’re
excited to implement an innovative curriculum model which we call Colorado
Springs Mentored Integrated Curriculum, or COSMIC. Essentially, it’s a version
of a longitudinal integrated clerkship. These models have been around for
decades, in particular in rural communities. Results have been so encouraging
that urban programs started adopting them as well.
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